It was the hot summer of my seventeenth year. I was in heaven for a teenager, with a steady boyfriend, diploma in hand, and even though an undetermined future, all seemed right with the world.
My family decided to take a long vacation to cross the country in a camper to visit my dad’s childhood home. It was crowded but fun and we all seemed to get along despite the crammed quarters.
We travelled over 10,000 miles, along highways and back roads, corn covered landscapes and snowy mountainous wonders. We visited caves, sandstone castled vistas and resort villages, cities and sprawling cattle ranches. Along the way my father reunited with a few relatives and seemed happy to visit lands of his youth.
A week later, I developed a severe pain in my back. As it got progressively worse we stopped at a makeshift hospital near an A’aninin reservation. There was an old doctor there who seemed odd in his attire and long black hair, but he could not offer any conventional cure for my back. I seemed doomed to walk in a bent over manner, enduring it.
The old doctor took my father aside. They nodded and we left. The next morning we took a walk and dad brought fishing gear. I’d never liked fly fishing, but sitting at the beautiful river, he promised a good result. Standing upright, my pain increased, but I managed a few casts. I couldn’t believe it, feeling a big tug and ended up toppling into the river. Scrambling up, had caught a fish, both of us partly covered in a white substance, and it was THIS big?! As I held the fish, my pain seemed to disappear. I looked at my father–what it was the doctor told him I’ll never know, but it worked.
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