There is something refreshing about the phrase, “A second chance.” A second chance at life, at opportunity, and even love. I mean after all, we are here to make mistakes and learn from them. The meaning of life is to fish, obviously. But if there were a second meaning we would say perseverance. Falling down and getting back up, tough get going when the going gets tough, Never give in, Ride the wave, etc. Like the great Rudy, Lombardi and the 1980 US Olympic hockey team (google them), try and never stop trying. Because after all, that’s how second chances are deserved. Putting in the extra time and extra sweat. Determined to work until the sun goes down and then keep working. Fighting through the pain to get what you want, whatever that may be. And willing to sacrifice to see a dream come true.
But, it’s not the sweat and blood that makes someone like Rudy better than you or I. He had this massive adoration, a passion for might and gut, a prestige in precision and fulfillment. The integrity of such a man, the humble ambiance of such a will power could only mean he had more of something than anyone else. Heart. Yes friends, that fickle organ that we attune to love and passion which inevitably is just a pumping mass of blood and tissue beating to keep our feeble bodies in motion as long as it possibly can. But, let’s for a moment pretend that it is your heart that feels and not your brain. Leave logic out of this altogether. All the heart does, 24/7, is receive blood, give blood, pump in, pump out, on and on and on. Working like a steam engine to push all of its energy into supporting a water based multi-limbed being of Earth that takes more from it than it gives. The heart is the perfect example of perseverance. No wonder we point to our chests when we mouth the words “I love you” or say our hearts are broken when someone doesn’t love us back. Because only something so dedicated to our well being and so determined to keep going could be attributed with emotion. The heart works and lives to give feeling and life. It does not stop on its own free will. Only interference can stop a beating heart.
And even then, a heart can persevere. Surviving a heart attack, giving up smoking, working out more, not being a cubs fan. Sometimes a little interference is just what we need. An obstacle to get in our way and push us to endure and overcome. You didn’t think that second chances were easy, did you? Sure, you’ve learned your lesson the second time around and you are a bit wiser and thick skinned. But, don’t for a moment think that you actually deserve that second chance without earning it. I mean, where’s the fun in that?
Yes, you have to earn it to achieve it! And that is just what the Riverbum master himself did a few weeks back. Thanksgiving, as you may have read up on, was somewhat of a bummer for the old man. His bubbly partner in crime managed to reel one in with just 5 minutes on the clock Turkey day. He endured 12 hours of hidden boasting in quiet giggles and subdued jolly Lady Gogo and Justin Beaver songs from the chipper chic that landed the solo salmon of the day. He worked just as hard, maybe even harder than her. Didn’t he deserve a fish?
Well he did this time around. For on a chilly mid December weekend, the Riverbums ventured into the Milwaukee river in hopes of steelhead. Dad was determined to win over a trophy as he put more casts in than anyone out that day. And boy was it packed? Local bait fisherman trying to get that last good of the salmon fishing in before the snow hit and they had to hibernate until Spring or be forced to stand over a hole in the ice while drinking lite beer and listening to Kenny Chesney serenade them into a country coma. But, they weren’t good enough as Dad had one more thing than them all that day, heart. Yes, he pushed and pushed, cast and reeled, waded into the deepest spots until he came out with not one, but two lunker beauties in one day…
Oh and to our loyal reader and friend Billy from Arkansas, we wish you all the best and success on your second chance. You let us know when you open that place of yours, we will be the first ones in line…
Until next time…we’ll see ya on the other side of the river
AC & Dad