go fish

My sister took this picture of my dad last year, and we both love it because, as we say, “It’s classic Deetz.” Somehow, in this picture, I can see him as a little boy, sitting there just like that.

We all call my father Deetz these days, when my son was little he started calling him D.T., no one is really quite sure why, but it stuck, and over the years it evolved into Deetz. Now everyone that is any part of the family calls him that.

I have a lot of memories of fishing with my dad. When I was a kid he would load all four of us into the station wagon and off we would go, probably giving my mom a much-needed break. My brothers and sister and I caught a lot of sunfish in those days. Once, just once, I caught a bass. And I was so excited, but then so disappointed when I had to throw it back, because it wasn’t bass season. Of course, someone else always had to put the worm on the hook for me, my dad did it, mostly, or sometimes my brother, but I didn’t ask him very often because he also liked to torture me about my fear of worms and would usually dangle one in my face first.

Once, we went fishing after a long rainy spell, and the big old station wagon got stuck in the mud. I mean really stuck. It took hours to get out of there, all four of us pushing and laughing hysterically and then getting mad and then laughing some more as the wheels just kept spinning and we would move an inch or two, and by the time we got home we were all covered in mud, and that was not a good day for my mother.

Another time, we went ice fishing. I don’t remember catching any fish that day, but I remember that for some reason my brother decided to fill his hole back in with chunks of ice right before we left. And me, being the klutz that I always was, immediately forgot that hole was there, and as we were walking back to the car, my leg slipped right down into it. My dad instinctively grabbed for me, catching me by the hood of my coat, and pulling me back out almost instantaneously, so I was saved from a complete dunking, or worse. But, oh my, was I cold. We had to go to my grandmother’s house, which was closer than ours, so I could get out of my wet clothes. Nobody was very happy with my brother that day.

Sometimes just a few of us went, sometimes it was just me and my dad. And as I got older, a lot of times I didn’t even fish, I took my book and sat near him and read while he fished. For some reason, I love those memories as much if not more than the ones I have of actually catching fish. We didn’t talk much, you have to be quiet when you are fishing, but we sat there, together, each doing the thing we loved best.

My dad is the most patient man I have ever met. He is quiet and sweet and selfless. For my entire life he has given himself to his family. He has always, always been there for me. Putting worms on my hook, driving me to the mall when I was a teenager, and then sitting there on a bench while my friends and I shopped, helping me fix anything in my house that has ever been broken, giving me advice when I have asked for it, and just being there, silently, when all I needed was that.

My dad has always been there to grab my hood and pull me up.

My dad is my hero.

Happy Father’s Day, Deetz.

16 Responses to “go fish”

  • Alana Says:

    It’s the simplest memories that are often the sweetest…You brought tears to my eyes.

  • Tracy Says:

    What a beautiful post – and the picture is amazing. (I became all teary-eyed reading this…) And you are right, he is such a good, kind man. I count myself lucky to know and love him!

  • Amy @ Never-True Tales Says:

    What a beautiful Father’s Day tribute. My dad didn’t fish much, but I used to go with my husband back when we were dating and before having kids (ie, when we had more time) and would sit with my book while he fished. This post reminded me of that time. Sounds like you have a great father.

  • Erin Says:

    This picture reminds me of times I had with my grandpa. How I miss fishing with him.

    xo Erin

  • beth Says:

    we’re lucky {you and I} today to have someone so wonderful to talk about….and now i really wish we had a nickname for my dad….all these years and we have never given him one.

    i hope your dad reads this tribute to him….

  • Deetz Says:

    Kelly, thanks so much for the wonderful tribute. I’m sitting here reading with tears in my eyes. I guess I often wondered whether you really wanted to go fishing with me and the boys, or just wanted to be included as part of the fishing gang. Now I know, and am really really glad you did enjoy our time together as much as I did with you and all the gang, and even when it was just you and I, you reading and me fishing, I felt a bond even though not many words were exchanged. Thanks so much for letting me know how you felt, then and now.
    Love to my little girl, little lady, lovely person. I have always loved you, and all my children, and always will.

  • Jennifer Says:

    A really beautiful post.

  • Marcie Says:

    This made me cry. What a beautiful tribute to your father..and to father’s day in general.

  • Alana Says:

    Oh goodness. Your dad’s comment made me cry again. I love the love.

  • wholly jeanne Says:

    beautiful tribute, memories, photo, and comment from your dad. and you didn’t even use bait.

  • Emily F Says:

    Kelly, this is such a sweet tribute to your father. I understand what being close to a dad is like. You are very fortunate to have him here today to read this. I love that he commented back to you and affirmed his love for you and that he was able to read your gratitude toward him. So beautiful. You are lucky.

    I lost my sweet dad in 1982 when I was 18. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him even now.

    Thank you for sharing your dad with us.

  • Kate Says:

    Sweet tribute. I think of my dad often.

  • Toni Says:

    A wonderful tribute to your Deetz that brought tears to my eyes, and just a little bit of envy (having never known my own father).

  • Quinn Says:

    Awesome post..we love you so much deetz!

  • Gordon Says:

    Nice. You made me cry!

  • Gordon Says:

    Hey. Can I have a print of that picture?

I cherish your comments...