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Thread: Reflections in a Pool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Reflections in a Pool

    Many of you who know me personally or from this forum know I always try to keep it light hearted most of the time and serious only when required. Sunday I had an experience that stirred some deep thoughts that I felt like I had to share on here. If you read my posts you know many days I end a great day in the park with a cigar and just sitting by the water reflecting on the day of fishing or life in general. Some do yoga, maybe read their bible or a million other ways to relax or wind down and face the travails of life; this is my way.

    It's those times when maybe we slow down, we really take note of what is around us or even more so with what is important to yourself, family and friends. Just this past Sunday as I had my reflection time in the park by the water after 4 days and 3 nights of camping, I literally stood up to fold my chair and gather my snack when I looked down. I had been there about 30 minutes and had not even noticed right next to the rock beside me the picture below!



    It took me a minute to realize I was seeing someone's memorial to a 12 year old girl. I prayed I was wrong and it had some other meaning but I knew with a heavy heart this was a story of possible sadness and I could not get it out of my head. As I drove home I thought of the hundreds of possible scenarios, a sick child, an accident, the method of loss was endless and filled my head.

    The more I thought about it the greater the significance of this small handmade plaque of what looked like plaster and simple beautiful artwork took on. I do not know if a family member placed this at a spot Kayla loved in our park, maybe a good friend had shared this spot with her in the past, again the possibilities are endless. Perhaps I should never know the reason of why there and why I spotted it at the end of the day, as I quote often maybe karma brought us all together at that moment in time.

    I do not write this out of sadness but awareness of how powerful the park is on so many different levels for us who live here or visit here. The love of nature of course for some, the quiet and solitude for others, reminiscent of a time in man's past that is so elusive in these days of cell phones and instant connections. Those of us who fish and travel the off beaten path are always a little surprised when we come upon someone sitting in a chair by the stream off in the woods. After the initial shock of stumbling upon them we usually mumble morning or afternoon and shuffle off to leave them in their own personal reverie.

    I will never reveal where I found this and if you come across it I ask you do the same out of respect for this little girl and her family. I like to think it floated downstream from the highest point in the park on a journey to the sea and a little girl's memories not of a life cut short; but touching people on it's way reminding us of what is truly important in life.

    In closing, it took me two days to find the story that lead me to a small plaque in a Smoky mountain stream, on a Sunday afternoon on a beautiful fall day.

    Here is the link: Dated August 14,2012
    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/...illed-1/nPgrf/
    Last edited by bigsur; 09-29-2015 at 04:48 PM.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    Default

    As an Ohioan, I remember this name from several years ago. This young girl was living in a neighboring town from where I was raised and she tragically lost her life when struck by a vehicle fleeing from the police; just a horrible situation for the family and community. What an awesome tribute for someone to place a plaque as you said in a place perhaps they both enjoyed together. While still very sad, this is heartwarming to see that the memory of this young girl still lives on.
    God gave fishermen expectantcy so they would never tire of throwing out a line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    1,104

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    For one of the few times in my life I'm speechless. This was painful to read. Only thing that comes to mind is what my old Irish granny that came over on a boat used to say. "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, and love leaves a memory no one can steal." My best friends lost a daughter in a auto accident when she was 16. That was 20+ years ago and their lives and mine changed that day forever. I never let Oct the 13th go by without at least calling them. We never talk about it, I just always call them to tell them that I love them.
    Last edited by flyman; 09-29-2015 at 03:48 PM. Reason: 42
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tullahoma, TN
    Posts
    339

    Default Tears

    Sometimes tears communicate more than words ever could. My eyes were filled.

    Thanks for sharing and helping us with perspective.
    Don Winningham

    I don't live just to fish, but I want to fish just as long as I live.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Winchester, Kentucky
    Posts
    127

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    At first, I wished I hadn't clicked on that link. Then I realized it's alright for a 58 year old man to cry sometimes. The next time I get to sit on a rock and say my pre fishing prayer, I will put Kayla at the top of the list of old, no longer here, fishing buddies I invite to come down and fish with me that day
    .
    You can't stay dry and one temperature all your life! ROB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    west tn
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    237

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    Rob, I've cried many tears the previous month. My son had to lay his best friend to rest after he lost his life in an auto accident. This boy and my son had been best friends for nineteen years. They started daycare at our church together at about six months old. Daycare, preschool, children choir, camps, youth group, and high school and graduation. My son, Ben, was asked to be a pall bearer, and with the grace of God he was able to. Losing that boy was the hardest thing I ever had to go through in my 50 years on this earth. Don't any of you hold back any tears, it will eat you up inside. It has been a month and I still get misty thinking about my sons friend. He was like one of my own. Vacations with us, fishing , hunting and fourwheeling. Wouldn't change it for the world. My son has a long road ahead of him and with the grace of God he will come out of this a stronger person. sorry to ramble, i guess this could be seen as a form of therapy for me! Take care and God bless you all!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,569

    Talking

    Thanks for the post BigSur.

    You never know what you are going to find on a Smokies trip. If you keep you eyes open, I'm always amazed at what I can manage to see each time I visit. Sometimes these things are more serious than light hearted, but either way I am more than happy to try and take in, reflect, and grow from the experience.

    2 weeks ago I hiked into the headwaters of Lester prong to help scatter the ashes of a friend that committed suicide a few months back. I've been meaning to post to the off-trail community about this final pilgrimage, and to thank her brother, but haven't been able to find the strength to do it yet.

    I'm reminded of the Indigo Girls lyric "The blessing and curse are one in the same, it's all such a treacherous gain".

    For me it's just one more way I feel blessed to get to receive the healing powers of nature, reflect on the kind of life I want to lead, and to enjoy the lessons the Smokies teaches me on each visit. I just hope to be a goos student. And to get to share all of this with friends and family (if only to confirm what you are experiencing is reality and not some fanaticized delusion) is really special and is a welcome respite in the fast paced American life most of us live
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    204

    Default

    While sad and melancholy, this may be the best non-fishing thread ever to make this board. As a dad of four, I will go to sleep tonight with a heavy heart for Kayla and those who loved her, and a prayer for the safety of my own.
    “The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.”
    ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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