This is me with my Papa.
We have always been tight.
We had a great Thanksgiving visit last year. I remember thinking this could be the last picture of us and I made sure we took one. Three weeks later he was gone.
Mom surprised us with this gorgeous song on Yaquina head as we remembered Papa on his birthday last August. Imagine it sung in a strong deep Irish brogue.
Dedicated to Chuck Sipman
By Cherie Ware
My Father was a fisherman
He fished along the shore
He fished the rivers and the lakes
He loved them even more
My father loved his family
And he felt his duty strong
I always felt a safty there
Surrounded by his arms
My father taught me how to fish
He shared his passion well
It’s how you fish that matters most
You must be very still
My father became Papa
When grandchildren came along
He also taught them how to fish
And now they’re grown and strong
My father is an eagle now
He fishes from the shore
He fishes rivers and the lakes
Now he’s fishing evermore
Shortly after she finished Papa flew overhead in the form of a Bald Eagle, then disappeared for good over the hillside.
We will always remember you.
Today I remembered Papa at the rivers’ confluence, with eagles and human fishermen about. And of course there are the rotting carcasses, of the salmon who live a life in the ocean and return to the place of their birth to give their bodies back. They feed the birds, feed the bears, feed the coyote, and finally feed the giant trees, who need the ocean’s minerals to become so grand. Papa understood that. He and Nana have always modeled respect for the earth and all people, and those values connect all our family now.
I knew he would like it here, so I brought him out to the river with me today.
(Hey Papa, did you see the steelhead guys were pulling out of the Cascade this morning!? Look at the next pic)
I love you, Papa.
Charles Henry Joaquin Sipman
August 3, 1924 – December 16, 2006