As I was falling asleep last night, Ross asked me to write about this with you.
My father passed away in 2009, never having been able to visit Alaska, even though for years, he always spoke of his dream to sell the house, buy a trailer, and follow the fish 'way up north'.
This truly was the dream of his heart.
He spent many hours as a boy fishing in the stream behind his house in Windham. They lived in an old carriage house near a water mill.
His aunt who never married, the career woman who worked for the paper, would take him on the lake in summer so he could fish. He once landed a pike and was completely scared of it once they hauled it aboard. Apparently they have a lot of teeth and are 'very ugly'.
His extended family would ice fish, with the little warming huts up on top of the ice, and he always spoke fondly of these memories.
While I was growing up, he enjoyed teaching me how to fish. We started in the alley behind our old house, with him showing me how to cast with funny lead weights on the end of the line. I would learn how to throw the line out by moving my arm and knowing when to release the little button on the reel.
I enjoyed that sound it makes while the line is going out very much.
Most summers we camped. And on those trips Daddy always brought his 'creel' (a little pouch with the necessities), and his tackle box (with all the little bins for the supplies), and a bright yellow stringer to hold the fish we would catch.
And we talked.
He told me about fly fishing, how he'd like to learn. He was able to float his lure downstream like food and taught me how to do it. We would use salmon eggs on tiny little mustad hooks that could barely fit in one egg.
I learned how he could think like a fish, outsmart the fish, and how much joy he had in catching them.
I could clean a fish, but only if it wasn't alive. He taught me that too. And of course how to cook them.
I don't think we ever heard of Power Bait. Once I was married and Mark and I would go fishing, there was this cheese type of bait that really just took the art out of the fishing. Somehow the fish smelled it and would bite. After a few years the fish got used to it, and they didn't bite so much.
Anyway, fishing was something we all loved to do. Mom didn't have the patience for it, and besides, she had to watch my sister.
With dad, though, he was really good about knowing what I could handle, and what I couldn't. We would spend all day on a boat or a creek, but it never really was a hardship. I always seemed to eat and if I needed a restroom we would find one, a proper one, somewhere.
With Mark, he would go off by himself up the creek, totally ignoring me, and sometimes I would be freezing and waiting for it to end. Once, desperate, I even peed in the river because I didn't want to get lost from him. He told me to stay where I was, so I did, and I didn't see him for the longest time. He wasn't social like dad, and he just wanted to catch fish. He wanted it more than my company.
So here I am, with Dad's grandson, in Alaska...
The beauty of nature surrounded me.
Dad always was a fresh-water fisherman. He'd gone deep sea fishing and never caught anything a few times.
On the bus I was like, 'wow! I made it! My eyes are seeing this here for him!' and my heart carried with me a special responsibility to be walking in the dream land he'd read about and wished to visit forty to fifty years ago...
When you have a loved one who has passed, you are always connected to them. But in a way, you kind of forget. It's protective. You go on with your own life, and it's like, 'that was then, this is now'. You function.
But when you have gone to a place like Alaska, all of the memories come flooding back! Dad would have loved this! He would have really liked that...
At the same time, when you are a medium like me, you are always listening--Dad are you here? Is there anything you want to say or want me to know?
For the most part, it was quiet.
So I prayed, constantly, Daddy, I hope you see this and know we are here for you.
I think, my wish in my heart that the kids, especially the poor ones with no experience in nature, would learn to skip rocks like dad and enjoy it...came true.
While we were panning for gold, we were next to a wonderful creek, Crow Creek. It was full, and the sound was beautiful as the water rushed over the rocks.
We did more than pan, too. We did the sluice box where the river sorted the dirt from the gold. So the children took five gallon buckets and shovels and filled them with dirt. It took some time.
Anthony and Isaac were thrilled, each in their own way. Anthony said, 'mom, I love to dig!' (my grandfather made his living both as a farmer and as a construction worker with a shovel). Isaac was walking through the woods near the water and just having fun. Anthony had on the rainbows I'd bought him online, and was almost knee deep in the water when he wasn't with a shovel, too.
I could almost see dad on the creek, with his little creel, just enjoying the flow of the water and waiting to outsmart a fish with his 'super duper' lure. (he used to say the only thing a new lure would catch is someone to buy it lol)
In that quiet, I felt his presence.
He had me watch the water flowing by.
He told me to put my worries in the water, and let them be carried away.
Worries aren't real, he implied, and I understood it.
He wanted me to enjoy the peace of the creek, and to always carry it with me.
I came home from my trip, to a nightmare of time zone changes (Alaska is one hour behind home, however, with the daylight my bedtime and wake time was shifted by two hours or more)....there were stacks of bills to pay, piles of laundry to wash, and lots of accounting work to do that I had let go and have a deadline soon.
I was torn because in my heart, I have the design for an elusive bracelet for Allie--who is patient and waiting while I ordered the beads Spirit wants. I wanted to relax and have fun and create.
Or at least, not be cooking and cleaning the whole day--Anthony is patient and kind but as a growing boy gets very hungry often...he's not one to go 'above and beyond' at the helping department. I have to ask, and ask, and ask for him to do small tasks I ask him to do. And when he does it, he doesn't do his best. This is the result of his father forcing him to do chores at the house since he was very small--almost to the point of being a Cinderella--so at MY house, he just acts like he doesn't know how to do anything, and he doesn't offer to help.
My body was struggling with the time changes, the responsibility, and the need to work...returning to the long hours where I don't always eat or sleep or know when I can come home.
I felt like I was in molasses all day.
Yet--a part of me knew the message of dad--and I didn't let it get the best of me.
I was like, 'it is what it is and I'm doing my best' and 'this will pass' and I felt the wonderful stream carrying all the worry away.
I paid my bills, at least most of them.
I have things that the ambulance bill the insurance company didn't pay from Anthony's accident--I have to go call about the denial...stuff like that.
I have appointments to make for so many things.
I could have easily been overwhelmed, and in a way I was.
But in my heart of hearts, I wasn't.
All because of the message from Dad by Crow Creek.
I don't think, in the long run, daddy would have liked Alaska.
Everything is so far, and there's lots to drive. With his lungs he stopped driving at seventy-two, and he passed at seventy-three. There's lots of competition on the water for the salmon when they run, I hear. And the subzero temperatures would have been difficult for mom. We had to leave Crater Lake in the summer while camping because her feet wouldn't warm up. No matter what in her sleeping bag we did to keep them warm. So sadly, after one day we went back down the hill.
Everything works out for the best.
I do know when Dad crossed over he needed deep healing on a soul level. He spent lots of time in a canoe paddling streams back like where he grew up. Both mom and I could see him.
And that part of his dream, I believe, is forever. <3
clap! clap! (that's Ross--he knows you are wanting to hear from him--he smiles and waves--but this was his request today, this topic, of honoring those who have passed with all your heart and humility and love)
Aloha and Mahalos,
Ross and Carla
The Reiki Doc Couple