He Was WavingBy Sharon Bryant

When I was a child, my grandparents had a lake place in Holly, Michigan. It was called Tipsicoe Lake. Weekends we would drive the hour and a half from Detroit to spend two days, fishing and swimming in summer.Grandpa had a big motor boat. He never used the steering wheel on the boat, instead, he preferred to “drive” by maneuvering the motor. It was a big motor. Grandma was always afraid of it, so when she and I and my brother went fishing, we always had to row out to the spot she wanted to fish at on the given day.One weekend, we were at the lake when my dad wanted to take my brother and me for a boat ride. I was ten that year, and my brother was almost seven. We both knew that the cushions in the boat also served as life preservers if we should ever fall into the lake. Luckily, that never happened, but something else did.Grandpa had walked down to the lake from his house to watch us push off into deeper water. My dad started the motor, and off we went. I always loved to sit in the boat, the wind blowing my hair, and the beauty of watching the shoreline get smaller and smaller? Until that day, I mean.We went all around the lake, waving at lake residents, who knew us. We saw other kids in boats with their parents, also. Finally, dad said it was time to get back to our end of the lake.There we were, flying, the wind swishing my hair across my face, and my brother yelling, “Faster, Dad, faster!” As we were getting closer to where we had shoved off, and where my grandpa was still standing, I watched grandpa wave and Dad waved back. But grandpa was waving wildly, unlike his usual wave he always gave us when we were heading for the shoreline. Dad never slowed down. I saw grandpa getting bigger and bigger as we got closer and closer, and I wondered when dad was going to slow the motor down. Finally he did, just a little too late?Grandpa was waving crazily, and we were heading at him very fast. When dad cut the motor, we were too close to shore. That boat flew out of the water, and grandpa ran for the big tree nearby. The boat struck the tree, and I flew out of the boat on one side, and my brother flew out on the other side. Dad somehow stayed inside the boat.I ended up by the tree where grandpa was standing. The long “ditch” made by the motor was something. So were my front teeth. My brother was OK, he had hit the ground and gotten roughed up a little, but I hit my face on the tree. Blood was streaming down my chin, and my teeth hurt like crazy. Dad got the motor stopped and ran to me, as did grandpa.I was OK, just a couple of teeth were loose. But to tell you the truth, I never wanted to go out in the boat again with my dad steering. I’d go with my grandpa, but that was it. Or I’d go fishing with grandma.As long as I live, I will never forget my grandpa that day, standing on the shore and waving madly.

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