Later, as we sat and I pulled out my notebook, I asked, “You okay with this?”
And he said, “Yep,” and rubbed his chin. Then he said, “But I don’t want this story to be about me, I want it to be about him…about Derek.”
But I knew that Derek would want it to be about Edwin.
Knew it because Kevin Oldham whispered in my ear,
“Embrace life, man, embrace life.”
“…what are we here for,
who makes the decision…”
And so, from here on, I will let Edwin speak of Derek’s story.
“It was a weird year…all these little things during the year went wrong when I was fishing, stupid things. I can’t explain it, weird things that never happened before or since, but it all built up that I missed the Classic, missed it by 10-15 places.
“So, during the year, I hear from this young man Derek that he would love to go fishing with me. He has a rare form of cancer, Angiosarcoma, and it turns out he lives only about 15-20 minutes from me. So one night I stop by his house and just knock on the door…
“To make a long story short, we worked with Mark Davis (Elite Series pro, Bassmaster Classic champ and Angler of the Year winner) and the Catch-A-Dream people, and we set it up that I would take Derek and his whole family fishing…would take them fishing on Falcon Lake in Texas.
“Derek was having a good week the week we went, but to be honest I think the trip was just as important for his family as it was for him. His dad caught an 8-pound bass that day. I think the trip was good for the whole family but it was a hard day on Derek.”
I’m just listening and writing stuff down. Edwin looks at me sometimes; most times his eyes are looking down at the table or the sunset on the lake behind us.
It is getting chilly but it is not the cold air that is giving me goosebumps.
“db, Derek knew he was going to die. He never once whined about it but he told me, ‘If God is doing his work in me, who am I to question him.’ This was a young man, 18 years old, a National Honor Society kid, a stud high school football player…and…and he was comforting me.”
Your beacon, Edwin, your beacon.
“db, I don’t know how to say it but I fully believe I was supposed to miss the Classic that year…the week I took Derek fishing was the week of the Classic…you know, it’s just I think….”
And Edwin trailed off. Yeah, Edwin, been there, done that…weirdness that led up to you not being in the Classic, but instead being with Derek.