An Unforgettable Fishing Experience
--by Mike Delyria, posted Dec 12, 2008
Several years ago, I worked for a trucking outfit as a driver. It was my habit to go in on Saturday and spend a couple hours maintaining my truck. As I was under the truck greasing it, I noticed the owner's elderly father making his way over to his grandson's truck next to mine.
The old man was in his high eighties, had been an avid fisherman all his life, and had come out to ask the kid to take him fishing after work. The grandson told him all about how much he would love to do that, but, he just couldn't that day due to prior commitments. The old man accepted the answer and hobbled off to the house.
A few minutes later, the father came out and asked his son what the old man had wanted. After telling the story, the kid ended it with telling his dad, "I'm not taking that old man fishing! It's worse than taking a kid."
That just broke my heart.
I quit working immediately and headed for home. I loaded up a lawn chair, some tackle and a pole, and headed back to the yard. On the way I stopped at the sporting goods store and bought the biggest bobber I could find and some worms. When I got there, I knocked on the door and invited him fishing. Due to his age I was sure his eyesight wasn't what it had once been, hence, the big bobber. If he was like taking a kid fishing, I had determined to take him where I'd take a kid, in the cattails where the bluegill live!
When we got there I put him in the lawn chair at the edge of the water, baited and cast the line, and handed him the pole. It wasn't long and that big old bobber started to dance; he set the hook, reeled the fish in, and handed the pole to me. I unhooked the fish, put it on a stringer, re-baited and cast, and again handed it to him. This went on, bluegill after bluegill, for a bit over half an hour at which point he informed me he was tired and needed to go home.
I loaded up our gear and we headed out. On the way, we made a detour to my place where I filleted all his fish and put the meat in a ziplock. When I got him home I gave the fish to his daughter-in-law with instructions to make sure he got them for dinner and then left.
Two weeks later, the old man died. His family told me later that all he talked about during that time was his fishing trip.
While I get the immense satisfaction of knowing I took an old man on his last fishing trip, his family has to live with the knowledge that a stranger took their grandpa on his last fishing trip.
Whenever you get the chance, don't forget about taking grandpa fishing, metaphorically speaking. Someday, you may be in the same place and you'll want your family to care about you too.
At least by now that family might have opened their eyes