Two years ago, a fishing friend of mine, Monte, died suddenly. He was only in his late twenties and he died of a heart attack. He left behind a wife and an infant daughter. I was eight months pregnant with Valerie when I heard the news and I remember doubling over in my recliner, sobbing.
Last night, I received news that another fishing friend of mine has passed. I am so sad. Chris was just a little older than me and we went to different high schools. We formed a friendship later on in life and he ended up being a great support to me. He was fun, as well as supportive and excited about the Facebook group I helped start, Commercial Fishing Families & Friends. In fact, Chris was such an enthusiastic and active member that I asked if he would become an administrator of the group. He was not interested in that role, but he continued his enthusiastic support of the group and of me.
Chris would always come through with a “like” for my personal Facebook pictures and a “like” for the Facebook group pictures. He also posted the coolest boat pictures of anyone on Facebook. Like me, and so many of us, Chris grew up in a multi-generation commercial fishing family. He was a character. He posted the craziest status updates on Facebook, and you could always count on him for something that would make you smile or shake your head.
I loved that Chris had no fear. He said and did what he wanted.
Chris supported me in everything I’ve done on this blog, in the Facebook group, and otherwise for many years. I could always count on him for a friendly word or a little encouragement. Our last conversation centered around popcorn machines. We both agreed that the stovetop crank machine was the best. That style of popcorn machine was one my own family had on our boat for twenty years and that I now have in my own kitchen. I loved that Chris and I both knew it was the best, on or off the boat.
Chris loved boats, commercial fishing, and commercial fishing families. On a personal level, he was always so nice to me, so kind and encouraging.
I spent all of last night in tears, and I woke up every two hours, remembering the horrible news.
I am going to miss you, Chris. I already do. You came a from a fishing family like mine. From the same town as me. You invited me to be your friend and I will always be grateful for that. I’ll never forget your kindness, your unabashed way of being, and your sweetness.
We have lost Monte, Jeff, and Chris in the last three years. All too soon, all fishermen, all from families we know and care about.
God Bless all of you. I miss you.
Surely Jesus Loves Fishermen
Surely Jesus loves fishermen
for He chose them for His own,
To be with Him and learn from Him
and someday share His home.
It must have been their trust in God
and patience He found rare,
That keeps them very near His heart
and ever in His care.