A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lost Fathers and Found Rifles

Decades ago, as a young man, I was forced to make a tough decision. To save our family home, I sold my deceased father's deer rifle. To this day, I remember that it was a pre-64 Model 70 Featherweight Winchester .243 with a Leupold scope. The stock had been oiled and finished by my father's own hand. His hands had cradled it while taking aim at many deer. It was his favorite, and one of the few material things left to me over the course of my fatherless childhood.

I got a fair price. A gunsmith friend of my father's advertised the rifle in Shotgun News and it sold to someone in Colorado. He tried to convince me not to sell, but with an overdue mortgage on my young shoulders and a mother in long term care, I felt I had no choice. I wanted to save our family home so she would have the hope of coming home. Because I traded my inheritance for my mother's hope, I never regretted selling the rifle.

Today, now that I am older, I know I had other options. I don't blame myself though, I chose the best path I knew of at the time. Still, sometimes I wish I could hold that rifle again. That's why this story posted at The Drawn Cutlass struck such a chord with me. Material things should not hold such value, but when they are the link to episodes of our lives that make us who we are, they do.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

Thank you for the link, Xavier.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the chances of me finding my M16A1 that I carried 68-69 are pretty slim.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Owen said...

damn that makes me go misty. Damn lucky dad there.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Claus45 said...

Good for the son! I did something similar with a semi-auto only BAR for my dad, a WWII vet. His eyes sparkled after shooting it; although he had a hard time lifting it. God rest his soul.
Do it for them BEFORE they're gone!
Claus

8:56 PM  
Anonymous brad_in_ma said...

Check out this story, too.

www.odcmp.org/1006/default.asp?page=SHIFTY_RIFLE

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the emotional link to a gun. My first gun was a Fox Model B double barrel in .410. My uncle gave it to me as a Christmas gift when I was 13. As a boy I worshipped my uncle and tagged along on hunting and fishing trips or anything to be with him. Now that I'm older, I take my brother's two sons along with me. Recently I passed the gun on to my brother so his kids can learn to handle guns safely, shoot and hunt responsibly. My brother understands the link and his sons know our uncle. I hope that his sons will someday pass that little Fox on to their kids. The gun is a link that ties three generations of our family together and I hope that the chain will continue.

Mike

3:51 PM  

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