Posted on February 9, 2013 by Jason Reid Edit
My father looked at me. Sweat and rain had matted my hair and pruned my fingers. My legs burned and I was soaked to the bone and out of breath.
“ Congratulations son.”
“Not many kids would have kept up the chase all day, but you did, this is a dandy.” Knowing where we were dragging this buck out of was one of the same areas my father had dragged deer from with his father as a child, was a humbling thought. I couldn’t help but wonder what my late Grandfather would say if he were with us watching his son help his son. Would he have been exuberant? Would he have smiled? Or would he have been the most proud person and turned away as a tear slipped from his eye as he watched generations of the family carry on traditions? In all honesty though, I don’t need to know what he would say to my father or me. Not because I actually know the exact words but because of the invisible bonds, which have bound us together as outdoorsmen in this one area of life. Even in the absence of Jim Reid, I know.
I turned 21 yesterday and as usual, I took much time to reflect on my life and was totally amazed at how looking back I can see Gods fingerprints on everything. As I reflected though I could not help but wonder about my late grandfather, Jim who passed when I was only 10. I was just a touch too young to really start doing things with him although I vaguely remember him helping me catch my first Northern Pike when I was eight. Jim Reid was a life long outdoorsman and started the tradition of hunting in the southern tier back in the late 70s. The traditions of hunting the Shear Farm, and now with the addition of my father’s piece, has become the focal point of each fall. Started by Jim hunting the land of some guy he knew. Jim was a family man and often opened the doors of his home to people who needed a father figure, comfort, advice, or just a warm meal and a listening ear. I see his character in my parents and all my aunts and uncles.
It’s tough to reflect on how he has impacted my life since I only knew him for such a short period of time but I know that he did. Maybe it is through the people he impacted who have impacted my life in these 21 years. Is that too much of stretch?
Thankfully, there have been many figures in my life which have helped fill that void, Grandpa Dave, my mother’s father, and now for the last ten years under the watch of my grandmother’s new husband Bob Murtha. Both are gifts from God and I cannot thank them enough. Someone’s spirit does not die with them though, I know my father raised my brothers and me with the same spirit he was raised in.
Although I did not know him that much before he passed, he started many family traditions and lives on in the lives of everyone he touched. Always in my heart. I wish we could have had one deer hunt together.
This one is for you Jim.