Monday, January 14, 2008

I hate the wind.

I really, really do.

When I was a kid, it terrified me. My Dad was a fisherman and always out at sea. When it was windy, I'd lie in bed, listening to the accordian-style closet door crinkling from the draft in the crawlspace and I'd worry about him, out there on the water. Wide eyed, blankets pulled up to my mouth, trembling in fear. Praying for his safe return. To this day, the sound of a strong wind howling outside still evokes those same feelings of anxiety within me. (Like tonight.)

I'll never forget that particular night, it was extremely stormy and the wind was whistling through the gaps in the window panes. I guess I'd eventually fallen asleep because the phone woke me up. It was around 3 am and I knew, instantly, that it was bad news. What else would it be at that time of night? I listened as Mom answered and then confirmed my deepest fears with her sobbing. "No, NO!!!". I crept out of bed and into the kitchen to stand by her side and wait for the bomb to go off. To hear that my Dad wasn't coming home. Then I remember her saying "it went down?". The worst feeling you could ever imagine - hearing that a boat carrying your loved one has sunk. It turns out a rogue wave was to blame.

It seemed like forever until I heard Mom utter the words "he made it? Where is he?". It was more of a question but God oh God help us, it had to be true. My Mom was always overly dramatic and could never hide her emotion and that night was no exception. She hung up and we both started to cry.

"It's o.k., your Dad's going to be o.k.".

He was in a hospital with his leg broken in 16 places. But somehow he'd made it.

After she hung up, Mom and I sobbed and hugged each other for a long time.

It turned out that Dad was one of the lucky ones....the boat went down fairly close to shore and he and the others somehow managed to swim to safety in the frigid water. Probably helped to numb the excruciating pain in his crushed leg.

I'm sure that it must've been sheer determination that carried Dad to the beach that night. He's always been such a proud father...I'm certain that the thought of leaving his family on their own, to fend for ourselves, pushed him beyond his limits. He's my hero, through and through.

Everyone made it but Dad's good friend Bob, who'd been standing right beside him when tragedy struck. As the boat began to take on water, the split second decision was made to cut the line and release the net full of fish in order to get rid of the extra weight. When they did, it snapped back with such force that it took them all out, killing Bob instantly.

When I ride, I always end up at the Fisherman's Memorial at Garry Point. I get off my bike and go over to Bob's my fingers over it and say a prayer as I look out over the water to the boats heading out to sea. One is for Bob and the other's in thanks that I still have my Dad.

God it's windy out tonight. I really hate it.


Blogger jim dandy said...

A powerful story. Having had my share of storms at sea, I can identify with the power of the wind and waves. It can really put a man in his place. Thanks for sharing your fears and emotions.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've always hated the wind too, but never really had a valid reason for it, like you do. What a horrible night that must have been.

The wind kept me awake most of last night, and I hear you had the same. Let's nap today.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

hey Jim...good to "see" you. The power of the wind and waves are to be respected, aren't they? Mother Nature sure lets her voice be heard at times.

I went out my Dad's fishboat - ONCE - and that was enough. Seasick.

Barb...windy there too hey? It was quite a rocker here...heard stuff banging around outside all night.

And why is it that I always picture a cackling witch riding in the air on a bicycle past my window? "There's no place like home...."

Nap good.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

Your Dad must have learned to swim.. surely?

I mean, what I'm getting at is that for 100s of years (aparently) English sailors refused to learn how to swim even though they knew they were going for lives at sea - because they believed it was bad luck!!

8:57 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Shit distributer, ha, ha, I like that.

I don't mind the wind and storms as long as I can hide inside from them.

I built my place to be quite, foam cell ceiling, so it has to be really bad for me to hear it.

We had the same storm here that hit you. I'm just glad we don't have snow, I frigging hate snow, it drives me to the Kahlua.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

Update on our wind, Deb. Blew one of our storm windows off and smashed it. I hope you came through unscathed.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

gled...luckily, Dad's a very strong swimmer (which likely saved his life!).

bbc...welcome! Must be nice to drown out the sound...that's what makes it so scary for me. Yep, the snow can stay away as far as I'm concerned...Bailey's in this corner. :)

Oh geez Barb, that's dangerous. Luckily no one was nearby when she blew.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Whitenoise said...

Touching story, Deb.

8:52 AM  
Blogger junky said...

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing...

Couldn't grow up where I did so close to the Great Lakes and not be effected, by stories like that.

2:38 AM  

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