I was sleeping soundly when someone tapped me on the shoulder, startling me awake. I slowly looked over my shoulder to see my Stepdad Lloyd smiling, his blue eyes twinkling.
“Is it my time?” I asked him.
“It could be if you want it to be, Brenie.” “OMG, this is real; Lloyd is the only one that calls me Brenie!”
I looked over at my sweet husband, still sleeping soundly, and said, “I don’t know if I am ready to go now. What will it be like? Where am I going? Will it be more like the weather here in Arizona or hotter?”
He laughed and said, “Do you think you deserve hotter?”
“I don’t know. Where is Mamma?”
“She is doing what she loves: fishing.”
“That’s good. Is she still in the wheelchair? Can she talk?”
“Would you like to go see her for yourself?”
“If I do, can I come back to my bed and my hubby? I mean, is it a one-way trip?”
“Only if you want it to be.”
“You are the one person that I can trust. I never understood why us kids never called you Daddy. You were our Father in all the ways it mattered. I am so sorry if that hurt you.”
“You never had to worry about that, I knew. In my heart, you were mine.”
“Okay, let’s get on with that trip. It would be fun to try a cast or two. Maybe I can snag a Black Bass or a Pickerel. Mom will probably get a bigger one than me.”
I was surprised that I woke up so easily, and when I looked down, I was dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt, and my usual dirty sneakers. We were no longer in my bedroom. We were walking down the road to the pond in front of our house, back in Maine. Looking out on the lake, I could see Mom rowing toward us. I wondered why she didn’t start the motor. Maybe she was showing off being able to use both arms.
As she got closed, I could see a big smile on her face and a cigarette hanging from her mouth. I guess you can have some bad habits. Maybe I can have a glass or three of wine when I want to. Wonder if it will have the same effect on me here as home.
Mom pulled up to the bridge on the road, and we climbed in. The pond was just like I remembered, but of course, it would be.
She handed me the oars, and I rowed us out of the narrow inlet onto the pond. She directed me where to go, and I managed to get us to a spot where all three of us could cast our line out and land it close, but not in the tall cattails and reeds. Mom, of course, got a strike immediately; she struggled a magnificent Pickerel into the boat. Lloyd was next, and then I pulled in a huge Black Bass.
“Is our farm still there? Yes, we can go look at it if you would like to.”
“I have so many questions! Can you answer them, or do I have to wait until I am ready to cross over the rainbow bridge?”
“Is that what they call it now?” Mom laughed, and Lloyd smiled.
“Yes, it is mostly for animals that pass on, but I kinda like the idea.”
“Sorry, Brenie, we have given you all the answers we can now unless you are ready to walk over the bridge and do more fishing,” Lloyd said with a sad smile.
“I don’t think I am ready, although I loved the fishing and seeing our old farm. My hubby and I will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary. The kids will be disappointed if they can’t do something special for us. So our fishing will have to wait a while.”
I hugged and kissed both of them; then, I was waking up in bed, and my sweet hubby had snuck out to let me sleep in.