In His Own Words: The Big Catch

In His Own Words: The Big Catch

On July 27, 2023 it will be three years since Dennis's spirit abandoned his human form. He's around me. He leaves me coins, pretty shiny ones. The latest one after I had just had a detailed conversation about his tendency to leave me quarters and dimes, and the occasional penny, but mostly quarters.

This one is a 2020 Vermont Stewardship quarter. Super shiny!

June 2023

I've been trying to declutter my life. For a while after Den left this dimension, I crammed my world with stuff.  Now I'm working on letting go of all of this as my understanding about the word "death" has evolved somewhat.  I am in a more thoughtful space; I know that we are not our human forms, not our personalities, not our behaviors. We are spirit. I've been listening to the wisdom of Ekhart Tolle. He is helping me understand. His understanding of who we are, which is "no one," "no body," is helping me heal. I am no longer in a state of shock. I'm moving into a space of not just acceptance, but of celebration, the joy of understanding that Den and I are always connected, and always will be. We are part of something much bigger and more beautiful that we can begin to imagine. My Den knows more about this now. His journey is ahead of mine. He lives on in the light and love of the Holy Spirit, Christ, and God, the three in one, the I AM.

I started purging my digital world. And I came upon this communication from Den dated 8-11-2019, telling me the story of his Big Catch, which he sent to me, with "For Uncle Bob." Here it is, in Den's own words:

So i just got to Yakutat to work and the majority of the fishing industry, cannery wise, is Filipino.  

The first few days i noticed a group of them going fishing off the dock after work each night.  I got the courage up to go down and watch for a bit on the 3rd night.

After watching a lot of bait catching but no real fish pulling out of the water, I saw my opportunity.  I borrowed a pole from my new roommate, Bodey.  It was a small pole for bait basically.  Has a ten pound test line on it and enough line to cast out about 50 feet.. Maybe 150 foot total.

The bottom of the water is about 150 to 300 foot deep.

I baited my line, cast it in and toy with the water.  The line on the pole was completely maxed out.... And then it hit my bait.  A BIG fish.  Big enough to bend the entire pole in half.  Scared the shit outta me at first.  2 things occurred to me; 1, I had no idea how to fish and 2, I had no extra line to give this fish.

I immediately start jumping from dock beam to dock beam running down the dock yelling and such.

My goal was to get more line in the reel or else it was going to break and my long lasting legacy of being a godawful fisherman would still stand.

Reeling, running, reeling running yelping running repeat.  I got enough line in that each run the fish would take it all back out. I'd fight it back in.  This went on for about 40 long hours (really 3 minutes).

The guys in the background were roaring.

Running like a crazy man with the shittiest pole ever made, trying not to fall in to the freezing water, but I'd be damned if I was going to let go.

I finally surfaced the biggest fish id ever seen..  It was a halibut.  About 25-30 pounds.  Big enough that the guys ran down the ladder to the floating dock and Bodey speared it.  So I gifted the fish to them. They cooked up the cheeks and head for fish head soup and we cooked the fillets up separately, which ended up feeding all of us.

Dennis, the "Good Luck Charm" with his huge halibut catch, and his buddies. 

One guy named Lito was not too happy. He was bitter that "the american" caught the first halibut in years.  He said i got lucky... Which was so correct!!  Ha ha ha. A little while later, Lito pulls 2 of about the same size halibut out of the water.

And then they nicknamed me aqua man. And apparently they think I'm a good luck charm. They instructed me to leave my shoes on the dock.  The next day they trained me on the grinder and the next they brought me out on the dock crew which nobody (except their clan) gets to do. The power of luck sometimes goes a long way.

I'm just waiting for the day I have to show them I can actually work. Lol"

Dennis, the "Good Luck Charm" in Yakutat

An interesting posthumous tidbit: I called the cannery after Dennis passed to let them know how much Dennis had thought of them and how proud he was to work alongside them as he learned so much from them, not only about their cultures, but also about gratitude and appreciation. He admired their work ethic and their commitment to supporting their families "back home."

I made this phone call in 2021. Den was at the cannery in 2019 for a couple of months. I obtained the cannery's phone number from a woman at the supply store there who not only remembered my Dennis, but raved about what a "polite and charming young man" he was.

No one who knew Dennis would be surprised by that. :-)

Not the Mom

Not the Mom

The Internet