Sunday, June 21, 2009
14 months ago my grandfather passed away, and the emptiness in my heart remains just as strong as the day he died. But I will tell you a story that gives me some comfort.
When Grandad was 82 yrs old, which would have been 13 years ago, he was coming up from the crick past his farm on his 4 wheeler when he was greeted by 2 MNR officers. One he had known for a long time and with him was a very keen rookie.
The problem was Grandad was caught spearing fish with his homemade spear. It was 8' long made of a cedar pole with the end of a pitchfork attached to it. Grandad had made it. Now to spear with this, it has no barbs at the end, so you have to drag the fish on the bottom and it takes a great deal of talent to actually spear one and get it out.
Grandad told the conservation officers that he had family coming for Easter and he was getting some fish and yes he did have more at home in the freezer. So off they all went up to the farm where Gram proceeded to give the rest of the fish to the officers. And they also took the spear.
The officers took the fish to the Hope Farm and 3 days later the senior officer came by and told Grandad he wasn't going to charge him but wondered if he could keep the spear for teaching purposes. Grandad agreed. I should tell you that during those 3 days, the senior officer did come by once but thought no one was home so didn't go in, and when he finally did show up, Gram told him that Grandad had been sick with worry over it.
As time passed the spear was forgotten, until last month when I ran into that officer and we started chatting. He told me that he didn't want to do anything to Grandad except issue a warning, but had the other guy with him so needed to follow procedure. And he said he always meant to return the spear as it is an heirloom to the family but it just was forgotten.
Last Friday as the boys and I were out for a walk, an MNR truck pulled up beside us and the officer got out and handed me the coveted spear. As the tears threatened to come pouring out, I managed to choke out a thank you as I accepted a tool that my Grandad had touched and used countless times over his life.
It is now back where it belongs, in the Dewar family, and hanging on our wall. And every time I look at it, I think of Grandad.