Ed and his brother Mike grew up fishing on the Elkhorn River. With a Miller Lite in hand, the brothers would sit on shore, cast their lines, and hope for a bite. They exchanged stories and laughed as they leisurely enjoyed the peacefulness of nature. And they took many fishing trips to South Dakota, getting out on the water with a rod and reel whenever they could.
Over time it became more challenging for Ed to go on fishing trips because of his increasing health challenges. Mike and Ed weren’t able to travel to the lake or nearby river and sit on shore to cast a line. The brothers lost eventually the activity that had bonded them for so many years.
Monica from Hillcrest Hospice noticed Ed’s love for fishing and nominated him to receive a Dream. She felt like Ed deserved to get out on the water one last time. She knew he would enjoy one more fishing trip with his brother.
In collaboration with Live Well Go Fish (LWGF), Dreamweaver set up Ed’s Dream day. LWGF is a nonprofit that serves seniors and veterans by helping them enjoy the outdoors on a handicap-accessible pontoon boat. David from LWGF met Ed and Dreamweaver at Lake Wanahoo for a morning of fishing.
A crew of volunteers, friends, and passengers boarded the pontoon boat with Ed on a cloudy May morning. Wind and light sprinkles hit their faces as David toured around the 650-acre lake. They saw pelicans, watched the sun break through the clouds, and heard the gentle waves hit the side of the boat. Ed and his brother were out on the water together once again.
After flying a kite and remembering how to hold a fishing rod, Ed was ready to cast his line. Wearing his lucky fishing bucket hat and wrapped warmly in blankets, a worm was hooked for bait and it was time to wait.
All the passengers on board enjoyed snacks, laughing, and singing along to country western music. The gentlemen reminisced about past fishing memories and life in rural Nebraska. The time was right to crack open a Miller Lite and snap photos of the brothers…together again. Dreamweaver brought Goldfish and Swedish Fish as humorous good luck charms for catching a real fish.
As they were sipping and snacking, Ed’s fishing rod began to bend. The line got tight and he felt a pull. Ed reeled in the first of three fish of the day! The brothers caught Blue Gill, Bass, and Crappie that morning. They enjoyed the sun on their face and quality time spent together. LWGF did an excellent job of showing everyone around different spots, explaining fishing strategies, and educating passengers on the local wildlife. It was a morning filled with peaceful leisure outdoor time.
After catching some fish and exploring the lake, the pontoon boat started to make its way back to the dock. An American flag blew strong off the back of the boat. Everyone was quiet as they took in the beauty of nature and the special magic of the day. LWGF helped provide an incredible opportunity for Ed and Mike.
The brothers spent many years reeling in fish, but this time was different. Mike said this time was an “unforgettable memory” for the two long-time anglers.
Thank you to Hillcrest Hospice, David and volunteers from Live Well Go Fish, and Amber Rae Photography for help making Ed’s Dream a reality.