It is September 23, 2016. On this day my husband would have been sixty-one years old. He passed away on March 13, 2014 after fighting a battle of lung cancer for five years. I am sitting on the stone where he sat for four years . The clear blue water ripples across the lake as if he were blowing kisses to me. The lake shore is dotted with huge boulders just the right size for a fisherman to sit and wait for the big catch. There is a small yellow and red plastic “bobber” with some fishing line still attached. It makes me think that Sumio has just left and will be back soon. As a sit here and have a heart to heart conversation, I realize that he is not talking back to me.
Fish are jumping in the water because they feel free to act as they please. At this time there are no fishermen around to entice them with their salmon flavored bait. It is too late in the afternoon for catching the right fish. Sumio used to say that fish are only awake early in the morning and take naps in the afternoon. He would always be the first one to show up to make sure that he got his coveted spot on his favorite rock.
The cool breeze is picking up and people are beginning to leave their picnic spots and head back home. I am not ready yet as I sit here contemplating what life would be like if my husband were still here. Chloe our brown cocker spaniel is sleeping on the rock next to where Sumio fished. She was his faithful follower wherever he went. What is she thinking? Does she remember this spot? Why can’t dogs speak? The sounds of birds are chirping in the air. Sumio always knew the names of all the birds, trees and any other plants around. His life was all about nature. Nature was his religion. It was his release from the life that he was trying to deal with.
Chloe sees a squirrel and tries to go after it as it scampers up a tree. She is on a leash and the squirrel seems to be teasing her. The squirrel and his friend, or it could be his wife, are busy collecting their nuts for the upcoming winter months. I can hear one of them up in the tree tossing down the fruits of his labor onto the ground while his partner gathers them and stores them away.
The sky is getting darker and the clouds are rolling in letting us know that it is time to go back to our campsite. I toss in the salmon flavored dough bait so that the fish will be fed and Sumio will be happy and continue the walk back to the car. It is not easy leaving this site because this is where my husband felt the happiest when he was coming to the end of his life.
Goodbye Otosan! I miss you so much! I will come back to visit you and let you know that you are never forgotten. You are the missing piece of my life.