imageI took my son Luke on his first fishing adventure today.  We also were joined by my father.  Allow me to take an inventory of whether it was a success:

1) did not fall in water ( that includes Luke as well ).

2) did not catch any fish.

3) ate chips, cookies, brownies.

4) got sunburned and muddy.

I would say, SUCCESS! Actually the day was about beautiful weather, a beautiful little boy and a beautiful opportunity where three generations converged to soak in a wonderful pastime.

This was the first time in Luke’s five-plus years that the three of us did something like this. At one point I looked up and vividly flashed back to a time when I went fishing with my heroes, my Dad and my Granddad.  A cool déjà vu moment, that almost did not happen.  You see old man Parky tried to take this moment away from me.

Parky is a SOB!  He is a joy kill. He loves to create apathy, defeat and missed opportunities.  I really noticed this when I tried to do something that had always been so simple to me.  Something so elementary that I jumped right into it without even thinking about it. But, Parky got into the way.  I could not put the worm on a hook.

Hello my name is Defeat, let me introduce myself to you. This was the lie from Hell that entered my mind. As Luke stood there and watched my hand shaking so that I couldn’t bait his hook, I noticed he was watching my every move.  I had a choice.  Give into Parky and his friend Defeat, or turn this into a memorable moment.

Luke has grown up with seeing the tremors.  In fact, that’s all he knows when it comes to Daddy.  He knows that I have Parkinson’s. He doesn’t fully comprehend it.  But he sees it.  At this point I ask God just to take away defeat and make this a joyful moment. Luke, as a five-year old is apt to do, turned and skipped off to Granddad who had already cast his line into the water.

Oh I still struggled baiting that hook.  But slowly I got it done and Luke was along side his hero, Granddad and got his pole in the water.  At that point I didn’t care if I baited my own pole.  I watched the joy of my life standing next to my Daddy fishing.  I did what any proud dad would do.  I grabbed my cell phone and took pictures.  I truly had a Facebook moment.

Hello my name is Joy, I would like to introduce myself to you!  This is who I wanted to show up.  When Joy comes old man Parky disappears for a while. Oh I know he will return, but I can enjoy a few moments of life.

I didn’t catch any fish.  Granddad caught two hands sized fish that were immediately tossed back in.  But Luke thought it was awesome. So did I.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “When a man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something.”

King David of Israel had a life of dysfunction.  In one his writings (Psalm 30) I summarize his thoughts; I will exalt you, O LORD, for you spared me from going down to the pit. I cried to you for mercy. You turned my mourning into dancing.

Thank you God.




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