The only times I ever heard my husband speak about his dad were there, in the Missouri Ozark streams. Many years have passed since our first summer there together. Now our son, David, enjoys the same streams.
He wades next to his Daddy, trying to skip stones and looks where his Daddy points. David listens to him, as he tells the stories. The stories of when he was David's age and where Grandpa and he had fished.
Sometimes, it is exactly where we are. Or, just about how the streams have changed, and the roads are no longer there that Grandpa used to take.
These stories from his heart are never very long or tell very much. Just like his life with his dad.
After all, Mike only saw him a handful of summers after he left the house.
Twenty-one years passed before they heard from one another again. A young boy now a grown man, a grown man now old. Reasons for the absent years were never discussed.
Their talks over the phone are not very long or about very much. But when they speak of the Ozark streams, and our recent trips to them, I feel Mike's childhood, and his daddy, come back home to him.
It's not about the fish. It's about forgiveness and love.
And this is because a man took his boy fishing.
Laura Beau Bergee