††††††††† We found my Dad drowned less than a mile below the house.Terry Lynn and I were to be gone the week of Thanksgiving.We met my daughter and son-in-law on Oahu.When my sister, Jan, could not reach Dad on the phone Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving, she phoned neighbors here to check on him Monday morning.A neighbor, Mike, found the tractor down by the river and Dadís dog loose outside.Fellows across the river had seen Dad trying to pull the boat dock out around 3:30 PM.His jacket was found hanging up down river.The river had been 1.5-3 ft. high.I feel fairly certain barrels came loose from the dock.I think Dad may have retrieved them all, but in coming back across the river, I think the current probably caught him.

††††††††††† When the neighbor could not find Dad he alerted 911.Divers, people in boats and other rescue people began the search.A helicopter swept the area Tuesday morning.

††††††††††† Terry Lynn and I could not get a flight back until Tuesday after noon.We made a couple trips down the river.Wednesday they brought in dogs specially trained to find bodies underwater.The dogs reacted, but did not jump in the water as they are trained to do so they took the dogs back upstream.I stayed down where the dogs had started barking and found Dad in approx. 6 ft. of water.

††††††††††† I put a rope around Dad, but the rescue team asked me to take the family away before they brought the body up.

Even the medical examiner seemed surprised by the absence of any wounds on Dadís body.The cold water had been very kind.Unbeknownst to most of us, Terry Lynn had identified the body, and she told us, ďhe looked radiant.He even had a smile on his face.ĒThe funeral home said that we could come and see Dad.†† I think it was very helpful for kids and grandkids to get to ďsay goodbye.Ē

According to his wishes, he was cremated and placed beside Mom on their peaceful knoll here on the farm.

††††††††††† Friends, family, church familyÖ people have been so generous, kind and gentle.

††††††††††† Dad was making some new beginnings after Momís death.It was wonderful to see him reaching out more and appreciating being with people so much more.I am glad we got to know this other aspect/version of Dad.He was 83, and he was so independent right up to the end.He loved his family, and took a lot of pride in providing for them.He loved being with friends.

†††††††††††† Dad was always taking chances, and always focused on "doing".  Part of me is angry, knowing if he'd waited for help we might have had him around for some more years.  But that's who he was, and I wouldn't have wanted to change him.  He died as he had lived.  He kept his guardian angels busy for many years.  If you listen carefully I bet you'll hear a communal sigh from Heaven.  Those angels can now relax and enjoy a well deserved rest.  And I bet Mom will fuss at him for us, "Now Keith, why didn't you get some help."  But her fussing will be mixed with joy.  They're together.