Thursday, July 7, 2011

"I’ll Be in the Boat"

As anyone who ever knew him would attest, my dad was an exceptional athlete.  One of the goals he set for himself several summers was to swim across Lake George in upstate New York, a distance of about 2 miles, a swim that involved identifying a location on the shore across the lake and “siting” on that specific point while also watching out for ski boats, jet skiers, and sail boaters.

Because of the distance of the swim and the other traffic in the fairly rough water, each time Dad and any other family members or friends set out to do this swim, others of us provided a boat escort to keep the swimmers pointed in the right direction and to call the attention of other boaters to them in the water.

Dad loved doing this swim.  He liked the feeling of accomplishment and the bragging rights that came after he did it each time.  The fact that everyone else who ever completed the swim with him was half his age was icing on the cake for him.  

Following is an exchange that occurred during one of the many late night conversations that Dad wanted to have while he was sick as he mulled things over in his head:

“Girls?” Dad called out in the dark of the ICU room to be sure that my sister Jennifer and I, his Night Shift Crew that night, were listening.

“Yeah, Dad?”

“You know how I usually swim across the Lake George with Peter and Lee and Kristen while you are in the boat?”

“Yeah, Dad?”

“I’m pretty sure I may not make it across again, but I’ll be in the boat.” 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this outlet. He is with a lot of people every day. All we have to do is may be a random biker, runner or walker,pets, children, trees, clouds...and then a smile jumps on my face!