Sunday, August 8, 2010

if only...

reading the "outdoors" column, in the sports section of the agn this morning, mdw was recalling how his love of the outdoors, and fishing in particular, was fostered by his papaw.  a papaw, by any other name, be it granpa, pawpaw, pops, or any of the other various names for grandfather,  remains a singular figure in the life of grandchildren as they grow.

the column has me missing my dad, feeling a bit wistful and thinking of the time we might have spent with my kids, 2 boys and a girl, enjoying the wilds of the t-bar ranch, if only their papaw had lived to a ripe old age. 

as that was not to be, the time for them spent in the outdoors was limited to the time at camp with the scouts and campfire.  as enjoyable as that time might have been it cannot possibly replace time spent with papaw.

one of my favorite pictures is one i took on a fishing "trip" with their papaw to one of the stock tanks on the ranch.  b. was probably 12.,  c. was maybe 2, k. still a babe in arms.  when i close my eyes i am there, in the moment.  the time is about 4 p.m. on a late summer afternoon.  the heat smothers the tank, the air is still.  my dad and the boys are standing in the scant shade of a huge willow tree.  the water is calm. all are quiet. the only movement, the only sound is that of the dragon flies zipping here and there, at once coming to rest on the fishing lines as they angle into the water. it is a picture of--peace.

in a sense i feel robbed-- for myself, for my kids and for my dad-- for their papaw.  robbed indeed-- of all the special papaw moments that could have been, if only...  aio   

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