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Untitled.... by Lori Snyder, November Contest Winner

My brother Joshua and I were very close growing up. He was 5 years older but would often take me, his little sister, to the local trout hot-spot Lake Moomaw in Bath Country, Virginia. It was always a treat when he would wake me up bright and early on a Sunday morning, tackle and doughnuts in hand, and we'd jump into his jeep and take off.

One day back in 1990 we decided to skip school and spend the day trying out luck with the finicky fish. Everything was going well until, silly me, I stood up in the boat. Whoosh! The boat overturned and we lost the tackle box, fishing gear, everything in the process. Not to mention we were very, very wet. But Joshua didn't get upset. Although we were in 10 feet of water he managed to get everything back, all 6 poles included.

Well, everything except the tackle box. I felt really bad since I knew he had been collecting those lures in that box for many years, some given to him by our grandfather before he passed on.

We continued to fish (after buying all new lures and box) for while until he was called off to serve in Desert Storm. I really missed those Sunday trips but Joshua promised that as soon as he got back that's exactly what we'd do.

Unfortunately, he didn't come back. Because of a hereditary disease he passed on, very quickly and we never had a chance to say goodbye to him as he was so far away.

Last year, I took my niece to Lake Moomaw. She is only 5 but could fish like any adult could. She knew about Josh and even remembered him a bit so my endless stories about him and our "Big Fish" stories made her giggle. That afternoon, we decided to pack up and go in after getting skunked. Just as she was pulling up her pole she said it was stuck and couldn't get it in. I took the pole out of her hand and started reeling it in. And what do you think was attached? A big fish? A tire? No, Josh's tacklebox!

I was amazed. After so long. Years. I knew this was a sign from him that yes, we would be together again on Lake Moomaw.


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