Saturday August 18 2018
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Off The Hook

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It began with crying. Watching your son cry is never easy, particularly on vacation. But after a week of “encouraging” us to go fishing, failure had taken its toll. So Joseph cried.

For the better part of a week, Joseph had worn the fishing collar. Reel not working, hooks not hooking, sinkers not sinking, fish not biting. Not the type of hardship that should take your breath of way, but crushing for a guy who had become our Mr. Fisherman.

That fish you see in the grasp of The Giant Green Glove changed everything. The tears went away, the smile returned and Joseph was back in the game.

We could chronicle how special the beach was, but what we remember over time is more special. The details blend together, but those moments we associate with one emotion or the other stand the test of time. Like, for example, the spectrum of emotion Joseph experienced—from crying laughing—as he simply tried to find one fish in the entire ocean that could become his friend.

Joseph was the ringleader of that particular trip’s fishing agenda, the one who couldn’t talk fast enough about the need to go fishing. He was the one who brought it up every morning. He was the one who spotted every bait shop. He was the one who made it all happen. And, in the end, he was the one everyone was rooting for.

Watching one of his brothers catch four fish on the first day only made things worse, but there was that one last trip and one last chance. And just as it appeared he’d cry again, he found that friend. The tears changed to smiles and all was well in Joseph’s world.

Not surprisingly, that eight inch fish had become closer to two feet as we drove home from the beach. Joseph had quickly forgotten how big the fish really was. But the journey to find that fish—regardless of the actual size of the thing—was unforgettable.

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