The Big Catch!
November 2, 2016

According to Cesare Pavese, “We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” This is one of those moments I will never forget. The date, July 31, 2003, my husband’s 40th birthday. The shining sun, the calm ocean and the seagulls soaring in the picturesque blue sky, made it a beautiful day. The children’s voices and laughter filled the air.

Everyone was fishing: catching some little fish and then releasing them back into the ocean, catching some keepers, and having a great time. The children enjoyed casting their nets into the ocean. Some experienced great success as they released at the proper time and the line landed far out into the ocean with big smiles on their faces. Others felt defeated when the line from the cast didn’t go into the depth of the ocean as planned, or got caught on another line, or came back with no bait and no fish.

My ten year old nephew loved fishing! He felt as though he had mastered the art. So he baited his line, pulled the rod back with the grace of a swan ready for flight, and as he released, that’s when it happened. His line flew across the pier, in the wrong direction, and hooked my ten year old daughter’s lip! Everyone froze! My husband cut the line and immediately assessed the situation. He sweetly, yet firmly stated, “Sarah, it’s going to be okay. Just don’t cry!” Being a typical male, he could handle just about anything except the tears of his precious daughter. I, on the other hand, could not handle just about anything. What was he thinking expecting his ten year old daughter not cry when she has a fish hook stuck in her lip? I had my nephew, Dylan, crying and apologizing through his tears concerned that he injured his cousin. My two sons, her little brothers, anxiously wondering if the hook would ever come out. I was freaking out and yet trying to tell everyone it would be okay. I knew I should stay calm and console all the parties involved; however, I would have much rather been sitting on the beach, under a big umbrella, watching the ocean waves and drinking a frozen girlie drink. But, Oh, NO! I was stuck out on Bob Hall Fishing Pier, helping and watching the kids’ fish, when I didn’t even like fishing! The final assessment…the hook could not be pulled out without tearing Sarah’s lip since even the barb penetrated her lip. So, off to the emergency room we went.

The twenty minute car ride to the emergency room felt as though I was stuck on a sailboat with no wind. I wondered if we were ever going to get there. I told Sarah, “It’s going to be fine and you’re so brave!” even though I was still freaking out inside. Questions swirled around in my head: Can the doctors get the hook out of her lip? Will it cause a scar? Will it hurt her? We finally entered the emergency room. Of course, forms had to be completed before anyone could look at her. After what felt to be an eternity, the nurse called her back and allowed us to go with her. The doctors assessed the situation and discussed the best way to remove the hook. They used the needle of a syringe to cover the barb of the hook and successfully removed the hook from the same entry point, so it didn’t tear her lip! Relief at last!

Needless to say, she never once cried! I don’t know if she was in shock throughout the entire event or worried about upsetting her dad, but she put on a brave face through it all!

Once back at the condos, I saw Dylan sitting on the couch still concerned and upset that he hooked his cousin’s lip. I went to the couch and sat down beside him and tried to console him. I explained how the doctors removed the hook and how Sarah never cried once! I then told him he should be impressed with himself, and that he would remember this day for the rest of his life. After all, he caught the biggest catch of the day and possibly a lifetime!