A conversation with Dad
Son, get up; I thought you wanted to go fishing.
I do, but you quit on me, and ruined our plans. What time is it anyway? Where
sorry Son that my body quit but I didn’t quit. You still owe me a fishing trip
and you’re not getting out of it that easy. I wanted so much to get better and
buy a boat so we could spend the quality time on the water together that we
missed when you were younger.
sorry Dad I couldn’t buy the boat last year when I wanted. I was going to
surprise you this past April though. Roxane and I were on tour with a show that
was bringing us home for almost a month. I had these big plans of sneaking into
to town and buying that Alweld boat you wanted so much. Then I was going to ask
you to take me into town to pick something up for me. You wouldn’t have even
figured it out when I asked you to pull into look at the new boats because we
have been looking at so many. That was my plan, it really was. I played the
scene over and over in my head how it would play out. We would drive in, get
out and start looking and wishing until you spotted the 18ft Alweld Boat with
all the gear just like you wanted. The live well, rod box, trolling motor….the big
trolling motor not a dinky one, and the Bass fighting chairs that sit up on a
deck both on the front and the back. I’ve seen you a thousand times in my
dreams looking at that thing and exclaiming “yeap that right there, I could do
some damage with that boat on the river”. I can’t describe the look on your
face when the salesman would bring us the Title to the boat and wish us well in
our Fishing Adventures. I say I can’t describe the look on your face because in
every version of my dream you had me wrapped in a bear hug crying.
didn’t know Charles you wanted to do that for me.
wasn’t just for you; Mom and I were going with you. I’m not sure if it would
have held more than three people at a time all casting rods so I would have
taken turns with my Wife so she could experience the anxiety of sitting in the
middle of the boat while you’re in the front slinging chunks of metal
containing hooks and Mom is in the back doing the same. Sitting in between you
two gives a person the same kind of feeling a Goldfish must have when he
discovers he has been moved into a blender momentarily while his tank is being
cleaned. Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety and yes I would relish sitting in the middle
we did get you sometimes didn’t we. How many times did Dottie slap your hat off
while making a good cast and then laugh at you for not being man enough not to
duck the next time. With all the ducking and diving you did in the middle of
that boat it’s a wonder you didn’t turn out to be a professional boxer. Ha Ha it
feels good to laugh at that. If I had time I could tell about quit a few
shenanigans Dottie and I pulled and going back even further some of the really
crazy things my Brothers and I were involved in. He He we even have a piece of
Brother Russo’s ear to add to our fishing stories. I’m not sure if we were
blessed by God but we were certainly blessed by Brother Russo. He should have
learned when something grabs your ear, maybe you should just stand still. Just
look at the notch in his ear and know he was marked by a Holt, inadvertently
but still the claim to fame. The Holt Clan marked the Man of God and didn’t get
eaten by a bear.
would love to go down memory lane with you but I need to tell you I’m sorry I
didn’t by the boat. My means of buying it disappeared with the mechanical
breakdown I experienced a few months before I was going to buy it. I didn’t
tell you about my plans and every time I saw you I knew we were running out of
time. You said you were going to come through this and get stronger. We kept making
plans to go fishing but you kept getting weaker, I knew I was running out of
time but I just didn’t have the money.
be sorry Son, and thank you for wanting to do such a thing. We missed out on so
much when you were younger because both of our worlds were turned upside down
when God put us together. Much of our time was wasted early on due to
bitterness and just not understanding what to do with a boy that needed a Dad.
But I grew to love you just as if you were my own. I taught you to Hunt and to
Fish and to be Respectful of others. You saw with your own eyes what God can do
with a Man like me, and we learned to Pray and trust in God under the same
Teachings. We did grow to love each other and I am proud of you.
used to tell everyone that as a teenager I was so tired I being told what to do
by you that I ran away from home and joined the Army. I wish I had been more of
a man and stuck it out instead of running off. I believe I turned out to be a
capable man with a lot of good memories but what kind of memories would we be
sharing now if I had just stayed? I miss being part of a family and sharing in
family memory more than I can say. As I have gotten older I have tried to
create opportunities to recapture some of that time but it is lost forever. You
were supposed to get better.
you have made me proud, your Mother is proud and we will always be family.
I knew you were dying even though you wouldn’t admit it. I could see it from a
distance and I knew it was too late to be the Good Son every Mom and Dad
deserves. The only thing I could do with you becoming so weak was to change my
name. You and Mom always knew I wanted to be a Bloodline Holt. I have always
thought of myself as Holt and most of the general public could see past my
given name of McDonald and recognize the Holt in me. The one thing I did that I
hope made you proud was change my name. I went to the Courthouse with Roxane
and together we made the legal name change to Holt. When asked why I wanted to
change my name I had to explain that I needed to show my Mom and Dad that I
Love and Respect them and wanted there to be no mistake that Benny and Dottie
Holt are my Mom and Dad. The next uniform I wear will have Holt emblazoned upon
my chest. But you are not here to see it.
of mine, you are Blood, and I am proud of you just as your Mother is. You keep
being the man you are, and I will be honored by any name you are known by. You
are my Son, I love you and I’m waiting across the river for you. God loves
If I keep on
writing a conversation between my Dad and I that only took place in my head I
would be writing a book. I can only imagine what Benny really thought of me as
his Son. I will try to make him proud of who I am and I will still fulfill my
promise to take him fishing. Maybe Mom will let me sit at one end of the boat
instead of in the middle. Someone else will have to sit there I will practice
what Benny taught me. Scare them but don’t draw blood.
explain how I handle the death of a loved one but it is different. I don’t know
how or why I am the way I am. You won’t be engaging me in many conversations
about my Dad but I will always be thinking of him. You won’t hear me say his
name out loud, accept in the deepest respect and I will demand nothing but
respect from others that speak of him. I know what Benny used to be, but God
turned him into my Dad.
If you were
able to sneak up on me fishing the river, that is where you will hear the
ongoing argument of what lure to use in such a situation to get the fish to bite.
You may find it strange if you don’t see anybody there but me talking to myself
but trust me, Benny is there directing and teaching fishing skills that I lack,
and Dad knows best.