My love for the ocean originates with my Grampie, who was an avid diver through most of his adult life and continued sailing well into his eighties. When he passed away on April fifteenth, and my family went down to Florida for the funeral service, I felt the only way to really stay connected with him would be to spend every moment of free time I had in the ocean.
The Saturday after my Grampie’s service, my dad and I met up with some of the surf buddies he grew up with for a day of stand up paddle surfing. Being lifelong surfers, my dad and his friends use the sport to catch more waves and get better views of said waves as they roll in. I prefer the mellow route. I don’t catch the waves (mostly because I can’t); I just paddle around. It’s a beautifully peaceful way to pass the time.
So there I was, paddle surfing in the middle of the Atlantic, when a pod of seven dolphins swam up to me and started leaping all around my board.
I have been going to Florida every year since I was born, and I have never once seen a dolphin. Needless to say, when I realized that the finned creatures circling me weren’t sharks, I squealed with excitement and nearly fell off my board.
And as cheesy as this sounds, my first thought when I saw the dolphins was, “This has got to be some sort of sign from Grampie”. I really think it was. I think it was my Grampie’s way of telling me that he’d still be watching out for me even though he’d passed.
I spent the next two hours paddle surfing with a pod of seven dolphins. They would follow me and then I would follow them. When I finally came back to the beach, my dad and his friends commented on the fact that dolphins were following me while I was paddle surfing. I told them my Grampie theory. My dad laughed and said, “Somewhere out there, Grandpa Ed has his baseball cap slightly askew and a gleam in his eye”.
I know this is overly sentimental, but I’d like to think my dad was right.