to walk the quarter-mile to the pond.
"Will you be okay?" I asked anxiously.
"I'll be fine," he reassured me as he gathered his gear. I didn't like leaving Dad alone, but I had an appointment in town. I justified my absence by reminding myself I'd be back in an hour or two. As I left, Bob started the tractor and pulled into the pasture. I watched Dad walk unsteadily down the path to his pond.
In less than 2 hours I was back. As I drove up I noticed the horses galloping across the pasture. They'd stop and look towards the pond. I wondered why, but walked to the house anyway. I put my key in the door and turned it just as I heard a faint cry.
I dropped everything and ran towards the sound. What if he'd fallen and broken his leg? What if he'd slipped into the pond and couldn't get back out? The thoughts ran wild through my mind as I hurried down the hill.
"Dad, are you okay?" I managed to scream when I finally saw the pond through the trees. I could see him lying on his stomach upon the bank and feared the worst.
"Bring the camera," he suddenly yelled. "A bass! I've got a big bass." Dad was so afraid of losing his fish he was sprawled on top of it.
Just then, Bob drove past on the tractor. I motioned him over. He shut off the tractor and ran towards the pond. "What a bass, what a bass," Dad kept repeating, beside himself with excitement. "Isn't she a beauty?"
The bass was a beauty, 20-inches long and hog-fat, colored the way God intended bass to be colored with a mossy-green back and gleaming dark stripe running down its side. Its mouth was huge, its gills flaring red in the fading light.
Bob and I looked at each other. Then we looked at the pond. Some things are meant to be, even if there are no logical explanations. The pond - just as we once hoped and planned - had made Dad's greatest dream come true.
Dad's gone now, passed away quietly. We buried him with the rod, reel and lure he'd used that warm July day. When sorting through his personal effects, the objects that had defined the life of this man we'd loved, Bob and I claimed the memento he'd prized above all else. Today, his trophy bass hangs on our wall, next to a photo of Dad and his fish on the bank of Dad's Pond.