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I Miss My Friend........ (long)

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I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Old 10-09-2007, 12:34 AM
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Default I Miss My Friend........ (long)

He had the moniker of "father-in-law" but he was much much more. I first met the man who I would call my "Dad" in 1994. He was a hunter and a gun collector. My biological father was/is also a hunter and a gun collector so coming from that background we hit it off right away. He was much younger than my father, by 10 years. Myfather had given up hunting and I was hunting by myself, butit didn't take long for that to change andme and my new hunting buddy were huntingturkeys together in the spring of 1994.

He had a passion for hunting like no other and especially loved to hunt upland birds. We hunted doves, quail, pheasant, ducks, rabbits, coyotes and yes whitetail deer together for 12 years. While he never picked up bow hunting he would listen for hours of my stories as well as share his own from years gone by.

He immigrated from Italy when he was 15, he didn't even speak English but learned quickly, he had to in order to survive and prosper in what he called "the greatest country in the world". He eventually married an Italian girl. My parents are also both Italian with my mother moving to America when she was 13 so our families had much in common. Both knew hard times and grew up with nothing but had strong family values.

My parents and my in-laws got to be very close and every time they got together (often) it was more like they were related than anything else. My bond with him was only eclipsed bymy biologicalfather's and I, we were that close. It was like I had two fathers, I was truly blessed!

He had two children both girls and on many occasions he would say that I was the "son he never had" I know that sounds corny but it's how he truly felt.

He was funny and spoke with broken English which made his stories even funnier. Many times he would make me laugh through my ear piece while were were hunting deer. He loved to use the two way radios and would rely on me to see the deer for him. I think he would kick back and sleep while Ikept watch for him.

He was an excellent shot...the best I'd ever seen. He honed his skills in the army with many marksmen medals. I can honestly say I never seen him miss a bird in all the years he hunted. I'm sure he probably did but, I never witnessed it.

He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in the winter of 2005, he had to have his bladder removed and rebuilt with a portion of his intestine. He went through extensive Chemotherapy that drained him physically but never his spirit. He hunted with me that year but not too often as he got tired quickly but he loved the outdoors so much he just couldn't stay away.

In the early spring of 2006 he was given a clean bill of health and was looking forward to rebuilding his strength forthe fall hunting season. We were all relieved and happy that he had come through a very tough ordeal that even the doctors told him would be tough. By the fall he had built up his strength and was feeling great. The doctors removed his Chemo port that was just under his skin on the right side of his chest. He could now shoulder his gun without worrying about it.

We hunted for dove the first of September like we had for years and I enjoyed my time with him in the field. We were looking forward to the opening day of Pheasant and Quail in November butOctober he received devastating news that the cancer had returned only this time in his liver and GI tract.

By November the Chemo had taken so much out of him he was too tired to even go deer hunting with me....the first time in 12 years. It was a sobering time for me and I missed him much but I knew he was fighting and I talked to him on the phone every night to rehash the days events, it cheered me up and I think him as well.

He passed away this April at home, we were all by his side. He was a proud man who fought hard to live right to the end. It's hard to write this as thinking of him like that breaks my heart.I still haven't fully come to terms with it, I have gone through all of the emotions you can think of.....some more than once. He was so giving of a person soI felt It would help me heal if I helpedothers the way he would. He would give you the shirt off his back.So I started my "BigJ's Late Night Giveaways" in a way to help me deal with my loss.Believe it or not it helped knowing I was giving to other hunters. In a strange way it helped me put things into perspective. I think he would have been proud of me, I'd like to think that he is.

As this fall hunting season approached I felt more and more empty inside, there is a void in me that I feel will never go away, a peice of my heart that's gone forever.....I miss him terribly.

I will hit the woods this year alone. Even though he didn't bow hunt he would talk strategies with me and help me with my stands and such. Most heartbreaking will be this years gun season,I don't know what I'm going to do I feel like skipping it all together....I'm sosad just writing this I think I could cry.

He was my second father, my hunting buddy, myfriend.......

I missyou Dad.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:09 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Wow....I dont even know what to say to that. I feel for you. Sorry to hear of your loss. I couldn't imagine what hunting would feel like if I ever lost my father (my hunting buddy).
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:19 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

John just like my loss this past March I strongly believe as Ted Nugent put it 'In the wind he's still alive'.
He will be with you as my father will be with me pal.

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Old 10-09-2007, 02:23 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

BigJ, I have a feeling he WILL be with you this and every season to come... i,m sure he would want you to continue gun hunting without him...Cheer up mate.. Were going to win this contest
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:56 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Sounds like you shared some great times and will always have those memories as well.

You will enjoy each others company again some day.............until then I'm sure he will be watching over.

Both your lives are/were better for having known each other. Always take comfort in that.

I treasure every moment I can spend with my dad in the woods..........because I know some day I will be typing this same thread and I can't even begin to imagine how sad I will be.

Thoughts and Prayers.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:05 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Big, I lost my Dad this past year, 5 days before bowseason. It would have been hard anytime, but he and Ihad satrted going on some trips together, although he never really was a hunter. I invite dhim to have something to give to him, and he went along to be with me. I bought hum camo, a rifle,etc., and we went on occasion. I carry a heavyburden with me to teh woods now, and don't mind saying that I shed more than a few tears in mytreestand at times. A friend of mine lost his dad seveal years ago, and he told me that the ache never oes away. I find that to be comforting, because it isn't an overcoming grief o fhopelessnes, but, as you have said, of missing him, and with teh knowledeg that he and i will be able to share time againone day, without his pain, limitations or sufferings. I, too miss my Daddy I never stopped calling him that--and never will . My prayers are with you and your family as you come to terms with your loss.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:12 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Touching story, that makes me think of how lucky I still am to have a father who hunts with me still
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:13 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Hang in there Big fella I am positive that he would want you to go gun huntingfor him and remember that he is sitting there right next to you cheering you on and wishing you nothing but the best. I cannot imagine what you are going through and you are going to have to find a way to deal with yer grief and just maybe gun hunting will be that outlet for ya. My prayers are with you and your family in this tough time and do wish you nothing but the best.

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Old 10-09-2007, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Keep all of your thoughts and memories of him close to you and go stick a big one for him. It sounds like that's what he would want you to do.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:20 AM
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Default RE: I Miss My Friend........ (long)

Sorry to hear of your loss. I wish you comfort and solice. Hang in there and remember all the good times ya'll had together, they are priceless.

Spudrow from Mo
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