#45 Dad’s Arm

by Bill Keis

Dad and I really never did anything together. I was the result of a Father’s Day “present” the summer before he turned 40. He was physically sapped from a life of blue collar work and mentally void from the hell he lived in the “Great War”.

When he took me fishing, it was special. I always got a few root beers and he had a 6-pack of beer. Dad always took Grandpa’s old motor and laid plastic in the trunk so nothing could leak onto his spare tire. When we got to the lake we both had benzene buzzes and he would just sit quietly in boat, starring at the water, and drinking beer.

Once I fell overboard while zipping up my pants after peeing in the lake. We never wore a life preserver, so when I hit the water my wet clothes pulled me under. All I remember is something big and white grabbing my arm and yanking me up. As I sat coughing up water in the boat, he just said “Don’t worry Son, a little water won’t kill ya”.

Years later I would I take my son canoeing on “my” weekends. I’ll never forget capsizing in the rapids, and grabbing Timmy by the arm. Through the water, I saw an angel above and felt something catch my life vest. I was snagged on a dead tree limb. As we started choking, I heard “Don’t worry boys, a little water won’t kill ya”.


Unknown said...

Compliments - a complete and well-written story.

Laura Howe said...

Lovely story of strained Father/Son bonds, that are still meaningful, run deep and last more than one lifetime. Good imagery as well.