For me, it was the perfect afternoon, and the culmination of several years of uncertainty. When Dad's infection first left him in agonizing pain, when he lay in hospital beds looking so gray and fragile, when he suddenly grew old within a few months' time, when he slipped to the floor of his makeshift bedroom because his legs no longer worked, when he lay on the operating table with a deflated lung and metal pinning his back together, when he struggled to stand upright for just a few moment in the nursing home, when he returned home relying heavily upon a walker - when I didn't know if life would ever be even a shadow of what he left behind.
The sun burned the air, but a breeze made the morning bearable. Dad sat in a folding chair on the bank and baited my hook with fat nightcrawlers, just like he has for my entire life.
I didn't take a camera with me. I don't think I would have needed one to remember the day, which was so precious to me. I got to relive old memories, watching Dad cast and reel, and I got to experience new memories, looking over to see my husband bent close to my father, learning to bait and cast and even catch his first fish ever (and the only fish of the day), a meaty little bluegill that I slipped back into the water.