A Fish Amongst Fishes

A Pre-Kayak Shell Seek, Dec 22nd 2011

You would have been 50 today. Such a strange thought. Hard to imagine you with the gray hair you so desperately pined for, thinking that people would take you more seriously, or maybe pay you more. You were never a vain man, at least not when it came to a bigger pay check. I suspect that the 5-0 mark would have hit you hard though, the way it often does with men who must face their mortality. I hope you would  have gone the little red sports car route rather than the hot secretary one. I suspect you would have found the secretary too complicated, so I will picture you in your Aston Martin ala 007.

You would’ve been the proud parent of teenagers. How would that have suited you I wonder? A mixture of pride and consternation I suspect. Like me. She is stunningly beautiful, just as you imagined she would be. He is charming, will be suave as you were. Not the bottle wielding whining baby you remember. Hardly that. Me? More wrinkles, glasses that you would’ve insisted looked “cute” on me, but that I think make me look old. I am the vain one.

We began the day with a rugged 2 mile sea kayak paddle that will have us popping Aleve tomorrow. You would have loved it and would’ve marveled at your children and me, paddling like pros.

Sea by Kayak, Dec 22nd, 2011

Then we went snorkeling in your honor. Underwater it’s quiet, tomb-like, zennish. You are forced to hear yourself breathe. We pointed at brightly colored fish, our widened eyes our only mode of expression. I thought of you there with us as we swam, trying equally hard to express your excitement, directing us this way and that in a world you can perhaps inhabit on a whim. Maybe you were one of those fish gaping at us, quietly smiling your coy 007 smile.

Thankfully I had no pre-conceived notions as to what your 50th might look like, so breathing loudly amongst fishes seemed entirely apt.

I remember the time we were in Mexico together when your Spanish words saved a life from a wily scorpion’s sting. The irony that we are in Mexico today seems all the more poignant with that memory. A life saved, a life taken away. Death is non-discretionary.

Snorkel Beach, Dec 22nd, 2011

Another year goes by without you in it but you are remembered in the fishes that swim about us with the gray hair you never had, as the hard-nosed, marshmallow of a parent of teenagers that you never were.

Still loved. Forever loved, you fish amongst fishes.

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  1. Sarah December 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    your children are gorgeous and no doubt, he was with you there somewhere.

  2. Salty December 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Love your words. Love imagining they’re still here loving life with us.

  3. Jim December 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Very nicely written Abigail… and what a great birthday present! Arron has much to be proud of.

    Wishing you and your kids the best of the Holidays and upcoming New Year.

  4. Abigail - Site Author December 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Thanks all for your comments. It’s weird to imagine what life would be like with Arron in it. Last night I thought of that scene in “Its a Wonderful Life” where Jimmy Stewart gets to see the world if he hadn’t existed in it. Odd to think we are living that “other” life. Glad its not as apocalyptic as the Wonderful Life version was.

  5. Debra Campbell December 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    So happy you spent the day at sea, with your kids, awash in wonderful, poignant memories. Hugs from Carmel Valley.

  6. mel December 31, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Beautiful post! Gorgeous words and I can imagine him there with you.

  7. Jill Schacter January 11, 2012 at 12:52 am

    So beautiful Abby. I can just hear you breathing in the silence under the water. I can feel your fondness and love for Arron. Thanks for this.

  8. Kim January 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’m reading this a bit late Abby, but had to comment. Just beautiful. Feeling that I’m redundant here, but what a divine way to say happy birthday to your Aaron.

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