We were excited! It had been last fall since The Outdoors Guy and I were at our kids’ cabin in Barnes, WI, north of Hayward.
Jon, Sara and our grandsons, Jackson and Bryson, had invited us for Mother’s Day Weekend.
But, it was also a celebration of The Outdoors Guy’s sixth anniversary of a continued clean bill of health since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer May 8, 2015. God has blessed him and our family in ways we could not have imagined since that day. One in particular: He is in the company of only 2% of pancreatic cancer patients to survive this dreaded disease.
Naturally, there was some reminiscing about Grampa’s battle and also when, on Labor Day Weekend 2017, he had a stroke while we were at the cabin. It was a frightening time for all of us as we stood in the Hayward Memorial Hospital parking lot with nightfall closing in, watching Grampa being lifted by helicopter bound for United Hospital in St. Paul.
But, The Outdoors Guy is a fighter who hasn’t been ready to give up the battle. Part of this is due to the incredible strength God has given him throughout his journey and his remarkable team of doctors and staff.
Throughout the weekend, there was the usual ebb and flow reminiscing about the good-times/frightening times we have experienced together in the past six years. But, we were also excited to see the latest addition to the cabin, a new pontoon boat. What fun it was to have Jon, Sara and the boys show us the many features it sports. Then, Jackson, age 13, who, at the insistence of Grampa, passed online boater’s safety with flying colors earlier this spring, took us for a spin around the lake.
Then, Saturday evening, Jon said something I wasn’t expecting, “Mother’s going to drive the pontoon.”
“WHAT?!!! I exclaimed. I’ve never even piloted a fishing boat, much less a pontoon boat.” Still, why not? I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, especially when it comes from the kids and grandkids!
Jackson showed me the ropes. I started off slow and tenuous, but gained confidence as we went. I found it was easy to handle and an enjoyable experience. I told everyone, “I can’t wait to tell “B” (my sister, Brenda) that I piloted a pontoon!!!” Laughter echoed across the lake!!!
We never know where life is going to take us. There is good and bad, joy and sorrow, but God has it all wrapped up in one precious life story for each of us to accept and embrace no matter what life throws our way. And, when it does, have faith God is riding on the bus (or pontoon) right along with us!!!