March 1, 2011

Patchie [Remembers]

Saturday I came home from my weekly date with Nametwin to find my dad and grandmother watching old home movies, ones we haven't unearthed in years because our VCR didn't work or we didn't have the right cables or some such excuse which is no excuse. There are hours and hours of tapes, and the magical thing is because the video camera was my grandfathers, he is in 90% of it.

Some of the things that were filmed I don't remember ever happening. Some of the moment are still so fresh in my mind it almost hurts. But watching grandpa on that screen and hearing his voice again for the first time in 3 years was the hardest part. I almost couldn't watch. But I'm glad I did.

Dad was jumping around because they had already watched most of them, and he wanted to show me certain things. There is a solid 15 minutes or so of the first time grandpa took me fishing, including him teaching me how to cast and talking to me softly while we waited ankle deep in the water. The video cuts and I reel in my first fish, watching with wonder as he removes the hook and places the fish into the bucket of water. I insist that the fish needs a rest, and then I run off to tell a stranger we finally caught one. Grandpa is still on screen attending to the fish when dad from behind the camera says "we finally caught one" and Grandpa responds "one finally bit," and in his typical sarcastic fashion, utters "thank god."

I would like to say I haven't been fishing since he died and I could say that and be technically telling the truth. But I really haven't been fishing since the last time we all went down to Florida and we fished in the gulf, catching manta rays and a small shark or two and the first fish that we were able to catch, keep, clean, and eat. I remember enjoying it so much, but I think I just enjoyed doing it with grandpa and how much he enjoyed it.

Part of me wants to fish again. Part of me wants to keep that activity locked in a little box as something I only shared with him. But grandpa was about moving on and moving up, and I think he'd be mad if I didn't at least try. I'll fish again. Some day.


Marizabeth said...

Fishing is such a Grandpa activity. My Pop is really into fishing, too. Actually, I think I only ever fished with my Pop. My mom picked up the habit as well, and every season rushes to pick up her fishing license. So, if you ever feel like casting a line, let us know. I'm afraid of touching them, but I enjoy spending time bobbing on a boat or sitting by the water, enjoying BEING.

I love family videos. I'm glad you got to see your Grandpa, even if only on film, and remember the things the mind seems to haze over time: voice timbre, a cadence in speaking or walking, the slight wink that always happened that you can't remember until you see it played back. It hurts and heals simultaneously. But at least it's a means to remember.


Patchie said...

I love just being by the water too, and usually do that as opposed to fishing these days.