Sunday, February 19, 2012

Learning To Cast

The Perkiomen river winds it's way through my hometown of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where the bridge shown in my photos spans it. This river, affectionately known as "the Perky", happens to be the place my Dad fished throughout his childhood, and a certain large mouth bass he caught there still remains a fixture in my folk's home here in Littleton, Colorado. Ironically the fish now sits over the toilet in what is typically Dad's bathroom- the bathroom I am using while visiting, so this fish and I are now intimately acquainted.

The wind is howling outside tonight here on the plains of Colorado and after spending a good part of the day at The Children's Hospital with my sister Noel, my brother-in-law Chris, and my nephew Mason, I think about the wind that has been blowing in their family's lives for the past 3 years, a strong wind called Crohn's disease. A chronic illness, like Crohn's, is exhausting, frustrating, and puzzling. Mason struggles each day with his symptoms. Trying to stay positive is challenging, yet I saw Noel and Chris choosing to be positive, speaking to the doctor, advocating for their son. I am so proud.

There we were, two sisters, sitting in a bright pink waiting room complete with a large fish tank, waiting for Mason to have x-rays, talking about the necessity of "letting go" and learning to "go with the flow" .....hating yet realizing as mothers we are not capable of fixing things like Crohn's. But how to let go when that child is at the very center of your heart, and has been since the day he was born?

Behind the hospital sits an old, seemingly out of place building, but one that holds special meaning for me. Noel drove me back by it, telling me how often she remarks during their numerous visits to the hospital, "There's the place Dale was born!" As I looked up at that building a memory bridge took me back to the moment I first gazed into my son's face. Tears came to my eyes for the third time that day.

A small picture of a fisherman sits on the wall next to the sink in my Dad's bathroom. The fisherman is standing in a river, his right arm extended overhead and behind, a fishing pole grasped tightly in his hand, bowed back, ready to cast. I imagine myself, holding that pole, standing in the quiet light of morning, gripping the handle, finally ready to release it and watch the line move forward into the dark waters. A few feet to my left I see Noel, pole in hand too, ready to cast.

"Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you."

We both smile.

Dad's fish

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Thanks for these thoughts, Danese! The confluence of these two ideas: "casting" and an inevitable "receiving" (getting a fish in this metaphor) is a beautiful thing. Only in giving God everything can we have our lives fully restored.

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:25 ESV)