The constant thump, thump, thumping was making him crazy. “What in the world is that incessant noise?” he thought. The sky was clear except for heat lightning playing tag in the distance over the gulf waters. “Well, it’s not thunder! I’m never going to get any rest at this rate. Ugh!”
Slowly, the thumping slowed. He was drifting off in fond memories of fishing with his dad, then his kids, and then his grandkids. “Life has been such a blessing,” he thought to himself. A smile played across his face. “I’m so tired!”
There, in the room, by his bedside, his children and a few of the grandchildren watched this transformation happening on the sweet old man’s face. “What’s he thinking about, dad?” one of the grandkids asked. “Well, if I know my daddy, he’s thinking about fishing.” Came the reply. “Gosh, I haven’t seen him smile in a long time!” replied another.
There was a deep breath from the bed, a long, slow exhalation, then nothing more. A nurse, who’d been sitting on one side of the bed, placed her stethoscope on the man’s chest, over his heart. After a few moments, she looked up with tears of compassion in her eyes and made the announcement. All those present let out a cumulative breath that they didn’t realize they’d been holding.
After a few minutes of sniffling and quite sobs the eldest son bowed his head and thanked God for this beautiful, wonderful man that he called dad. Then, the youngest grandchild whispered these words, “I hope you catch a lot today, grandpa. I already miss you! Good luck!”