Steve Hickey

Second Wind

For as long as I can remember, my Dad has dressed in Orvis garb. It’s a family joke that he walks around like he’s trying to recreate the magazine cover. Fishing has always been something that’s been mostly his and mine. I was never too busy to fish with my Dad. We’ve done fly in trips, salmon fishing on the Kenai, and simple lawn chairs on a shore. 9 years ago, he was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease. Slowly, our fishing outings began to change. It started with me carting around all of his gear. Then he couldn’t stand in the rivers any more, so we stuck to the shore and the boat. Near the end he was so weak that he had to have someone finish reeling in his fish. But even then he was dressing the part. After nearly a decade of decline, my Dad finally received a double lung transplant in January. As his caregiver during the worst of his recovery, I watched my strong, steady Dad crumble in pain. He couldn’t do any of the things he loved. The incision made it difficult for him to wear his usual pull over sweaters, so I purchased in Orvis button down cardigan when the medication started to cause him to shiver throughout the day. It was this first time he looked like himself again. Shortly after, I was baiting a hook for him to fish a retirement community pond. On the wayhome he asked to gotoOrvissohecouldbuynewclothesforhissecondchanceatlife,hissecondwind