Gone Fishin'

Posted by hgrass hgrass
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Anyone who knows me well knows that I've never really liked fishing.

I think it's because I have trouble sitting still anywhere but on a beach, and I don't love boats.  But fishing is a very popular sport, and many of my friends love to fish.  I've been asked many times to go, but I usually politely decline.

My best friend Mike Raske loved to fish, and he asked me to go with him many times.  I went a few times with him when I was in my teens, but its been a long. long time since I took him up on his fishing offer.  I wish I had.

Last week he had a heart attack and a stroke and died the next day.  I spoke to a mutual friend at the funeral, and he spoke to Mikey the night before - and he was "fine".  Losing a friend (or husband or father or son) is terrible, but somehow it seems worse when you have absolutely no time to mentally prepare.  



He was the best man in my wedding and I in his.  Yes... that's me in my White Tails (with way more hair) and Mike in the ruffled shirt I made all my groomsmen wear.   

It's always been Mike and Cindy as long as Carol and I can remember - for over 40 years it's been the 4 of us.  We spent New Years together, and many trips and mini vacations when we were younger.  That slowed down somewhat when we both had children, but we talked recently about starting to take some trips together now that we were pretty much empty nesters.

But I talked to him on the phone every few weeks for as long as I can remember, and I can't get a grip on the fact that I'm never going to speak to him again.  He was one of the smartest people I knew, and had a law degree (although he switched careers many years ago).  Some of you may have known him as the owner of Sydney Bush Slip Company, as many of the bridal stores and designers did business with him over the past 30 years.  Whenever a store who knew him found out that we were friends, I always got the same reaction: "Michael was a great guy and a pleasure to work with".  

That was the Mike I knew.  EVERYONE who knew him loved him, and you could tell by the conversations at his funeral.  Sometimes you go to funerals and hear all of the plaudits and praise that gets spread around and you say to yourself..."Who are they talking about"?  But not this time.  All of the kind words and great stories didn't do justice to the kind of man that he was.  He was a terrific family man - a great husband and a loving father to his 2 daughters.   And he loved those girls and couldn't talk enough about them.  Not in a bragging way (anyone  who knew him knows he didn't have a "bragging bone in his body").  But he was so proud of his girls, and they loved to fish with him.  He loved dogs, and always had a springer spaniel since the day I met him when I was 15 years old.  And yes, even his daughter Dani's brittany Elle was at the funeral!  That was so Mikey.

I've been in a funk for over a week now, and I think I'll feel better when I finish writing this blog and get it all "out".  But I'll never be quite the same, and I realize that these things happen when we get older and lose the ones we love.  And Carol and I DID love Mikey.  

Dani and Lauren wrote a beautiful eulogy for their father, and read it grave side.  It closed with a poem, and we cried when we heard it.  But it was such a beautiful poem, and so fitting of a tribute to my friend - for a life well lived.  RIP Mikey, I will never forget you!  H

Gone Fishin'

I've finished life's chores assigned to me,
So put me on a boat headed out to sea.
Please send along my fishing pole
For I've been invited to the fishin' hole.

Where every day is a day to fish,
To fill your heart with every wish.
Don't worry, or feel sad for me,
I'm fishin' with the Master of the sea.

We will miss each other for awhile,
But you will come and bring your smile.
That won't be long you will see,
Till we're together you and me.

To all of those that think of me,
Be happy as I go out to sea.
If others wonder why I'm missin'
Just tell 'em I've gone fishin'

by Delmar Pepper

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Cami Cami
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Re: Gone Fishin'

Oh Howatd , I  am so so sorry to hear about your loss! I have been so involved in what's going on in my own lift that even though you have been on my mind everyday, and I woke up everyday saying I have to call my Howard the week flew by and hear we are and I didn't call ! I should of relizied something was going on in your life when you didn't check in on me because  you and your friend Mike from what I reac had so much in common ( besides fishing) but compassionate and caring for others!
 You have always been there for me through life's ups and downs!
 I never meet Mike but have heard you talk about him several times! I know how much you will miss him and hard it is to loss anyone that close to you and your family! Just know that he knows how lucky he was to have you in his life and how lucky you were to have him in yours
  We all have to treasure every day we have because  we don't know what the next day could bring! We have to tell the people in our life or show them how much they mean to us! You my friend do this everyday ! You are a  inspiration To us all. My heart is broken for Mikes family and friends to have to go through this horrible time. But I know you will be there when needed  and that's a gift for mikes wife and kids! Life is a gift! Friends are a gift
That we have to remember that! Again I am so sorry and just want you to know you are one of my greatest gifts!
I love you my friend! And I am here for you.
gbigg gbigg
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RE: Gone Fishin'

In reply to this post by hgrass
Howard,

Marla and I were in Mexico the past two weeks.  Larry emailed me about Mike's passing; so sad.  Sorry you lost such a great friend.

You look like a young Fred Astaire in that white cut-away tux.

George



Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2015 22:39:52 -0700
From: [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Gone Fishin'



Anyone who knows me well knows that I've never really liked fishing.

I think it's because I have trouble sitting still anywhere but on a beach, and I don't love boats.  But fishing is a very popular sport, and many of my friends love to fish.  I've been asked many times to go, but I usually politely decline.

My best friend Mike Raske loved to fish, and he asked me to go with him many times.  I went a few times with him when I was in my teens, but its been a long. long time since I took him up on his fishing offer.  I wish I had.

Last week he had a heart attack and a stroke and died the next day.  I spoke to a mutual friend at the funeral, and he spoke to Mikey the night before - and he was "fine".  Losing a friend (or husband or father or son) is terrible, but somehow it seems worse when you have absolutely no time to mentally prepare.  

He was the best man in my wedding and I in his.  Yes... that's me in my White Tails (with way more hair) and Mike in the ruffled shirt I made all my groomsman wear.   

It's always been Mike and Cindy as long as Carol and I can remember - for over 40 years it's been the 4 of us.  We spent New Years together, and many trips and mini vacations when we were younger.  That slowed down somewhat when we both had children, but we talked recently about starting to take some trips together now that we were pretty much empty nesters.

But I talked to him on the phone every few weeks for as long as I can remember, and I can't get a grip on the fact that I'm never going to speak to him again.  He was one of the smartest people I knew, and had a law degree (although he switched careers many years ago).  Some of you may have known him as the owner of Sydney Bush Slip Company, as many of the bridal stores and designers did business with him over the past 30 years.  Whenever a store who knew him found out that we were friends, I always got the same reaction: "Michael was a great guy and a pleasure to work with".  

That was the Mike I knew.  EVERYONE who knew him loved him, and you could tell by the conversations at his funeral.  Sometimes you go to funerals and hear all of the plaudits and praise that gets spread around and you say to yourself..."Who are they talking about"?  But not this time.  All of the kind words and great stories didn't do justice to the kind of man that he was.  He was a terrific family man - a great husband and a loving father to his 2 daughters.   And he loved those girls and couldn't talk enough about them.  Not in a bragging way (anyone  who knew him knows he didn't have a "bragging bone in his body".  But he was so proud of his girls, and they loved to fish with him.  He loved dogs, and always had a springer spaniel since the day I met him when I was 15 years old.  And yes, even his daughter Dani's brittany Elle was at the funeral!  That was so Mikey.

I've been in a funk for over a week now, and I think I'll feel better when I finish writing this blog and get it all "out".  But I'll never be quite the same, and I realize that these things happen when we get older and lose the ones we love.  And Carol and I DID love Mikey.  

Dani and Lauren wrote a beautiful eulogy for their father, and read it grave side.  It closed with a poem, and we cried when we heard it.  But it was such a beautiful poem, and so fitting of a tribute to my friend - for a life well lived.  RIP Mikey, I will never forget you!  H

Gone Fishin'

I've finished life's chores assigned to me,
So put me on a boat headed out to sea.
Please send along my fishing pole
For I've been invited to the fishin' hole.

Where every day is a day to fish,
To fill your heart with every wish.
Don't worry, or feel sad for me,
I'm fishin' with the Master of the sea.

We will miss each other for awhile,
But you will come and bring your smile.
That won't be long you will see,
Till we're together you and me.

To all of those that think of me,
Be happy as I go out to sea.
If others wonder why I'm missin'
Just tell 'em I've gone fishin'

by Delmar Pepper



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Jim Buescher Jim Buescher
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Re: Gone Fishin'

In reply to this post by hgrass
  So sorry to hear about your loss. Carol walked me through her version of your version, & good that you guys were there to comfort Mike's widow, before & after the funeral. Life is temporary, death is final, & we bring nothing with us when we arrive, leave it all when we go. I've lost a lot of friends, family in death & empathize with your loss. (FYI, found that it's real good to check in with Mike's widow after all the immediate arrangements are over, & life returns to (so-called) routine.
  Mike's passing away reminded of the time when you emailed me in Greece, (when Abby was born), about Mom declining rapidly & the need to get home immediately if we wanted to see her alive. We got home on a Monday & were at her bedside, kneeling, praying for her as she passed away that Thursday night. Cant stop the 'things that happen as we live 'life' out, but, (for me), the serenity prayer helps major in the majors..

"GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next."

  I spent a lot of time "howling at the moon" about various things that I cannot change anyway; stuff that's good to let go of, to accept things as real, that I don't like, or agree with. The serenity prayer helps me let go of everything else. I enjoy your gift of gab, your writing is articulate &, (I believe), a good tool, (as you said), for dealing with this painful loss.

  Praying for Mike's family, you guys, your loss & recovery. Thanks for sharing this!