Tupper Lake, November 6, 2012 by Jeff Boucher

Monday, November 15, 2010

Father's Day.....

Not the Father's Day in June, this one was in November.

My good friend Mike's father passed away a few weeks back. He was very close to his father.  When Mike was a kid his father would take him hunting and fishing and do those things that fathers and sons do, creating a bond, that makes the son into a man.  

I received a message from Mike last week that he was going to scatter his father's ashes on a pond, next to a fishing club his dad had belonged to for 40 years. It was an open invitation, for his friends, and even though I wasn't obligated to go, I felt a strong urge to. 

And so I did.

The pond and camp weren't too far from the Hinckley Resovoir in the Southern part of the Adirondack Park, about a two hour ride from Tupper.  

I traveled from Tupper to Indian Lake, then south to Speculator/Lake Pleasant, and then west towards Hinckley on Route 8.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and the day had a very special feel to it from the very beginning. 

Now I wasn't really sure where exactly we were going to meet. Mike hadn't been there in a few years, so he gave me general directions and said he'd sit on the side of the road just past the intersection of Rt. 8 and 365. 
So, no worries,I drove, and showing up and hour early (in case I got lost), we intersected precisely at the intersection of 8 and 365, he too was early. He and his buddy Mark looking for a cup of coffee and me looking for him. 

This is the first part of the day where I kind of went, whoa. I knew all along that I wouldn't have any trouble finding him, not sure how I knew it, but I knew it. And if you've ever been in that neck of the woods, it is the middle of nowhere, with lots of places where one could go the wrong way. And bang- there he was.

There was no coffee shop within reach, we went to the camp.

 The camp.

We had both.

What a beautiful place. The camp itself was weathered and you could see that it's been used by generations of families doing the things families are supposed to do.

We parked, and after some small talk it was time to disperse his father's ashes. 

These are Mike's words describing the day:

During his life, my Father enjoyed many activities- hunting, fishing, golf, baseball, skiing, traveling, along with the comradery of his friends. With the help of two of my friends, I was able to do some of the same activities, while we said a final goodbye to my Father.

We traveled a few hours to get to the place he loved. We dispersed his ashes into the pond where he loved to fish, as my good friend spoke the words of the Mourners Kaddish in Hebrew. We fired the shotgun that he gave me 42 years ago, and the shotgun he recently left to me. (We fired the rifle that Aunt May left also) We tossed a baseball into the pond and tried to hit it with the rifle shots. We drove a few golf balls into the pond in a competitive format. We tossed a fishing line into the pond, hoping but not expecting to land any fish. We drank a beer and had a shot or two and said a toast to life.

And when it was time to leave, I realized just how much I am my Father’s son. And as I write this account of Saturdays activities I realize how fortunate I am to have these 2 friends who took the time and went the distance to share a very important day with me.

Those of you who wanted to but couldn’t be there, thank you for your thoughts. 

Now, after Mike had placed his father's ashes in the pond, he turned and walked back up the hill towards the camp.  His good friend Mark who had just done the reading and myself stood there and just looked into the water as the ashes dispersed. 
 Now, here came "whoa" moment number 2 for me.  As we watched the ashes, a face formed in the water- I looked at Mark and said, "You see that?" He nodded.  It slowly dissipated, we both exhaled and walked back up the bank.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the overly spiritual type. As a matter of fact, if someone told me this, I'd be the first to say, "Yeah right."  The funny thing was, it seemed normal. I'd never been to any kind of ceremony like this, but looking at the image in the water, it just seemed normal. I've got no other way to explain it.

So as Mike said above we celebrated his father's life by shooting, fishing and hitting golf balls.

C'mon trout, we know you're there. 

 Adirondack golf tee.

Tiger Woods, be afraid, be very very afraid.

Tiger, don't worry!

As for me, no pic, but Tiger shouldn't worry about me either.

  Just 3 guys on a beautiful Saturday morning enjoying the outdoors.

And for some reason I think there may have been a fourth there.

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