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PaPa's Gift

PhotoBy Tammy Wilson

-- My father-in-law, Clyde "Pete" Wilson, passed away on Oct. 13, 2003.

Not a day goes by that we don't think of him, but since he was an avid hunter, he is particularly remembered a lot during deer season. My 11-year-old son, Kody Wilson, certainly will not let us forget.

Kody went hunting with his PaPa and loved to farm with him. They were best buddies. Back then, Kody never shot anything because he could never be quiet. He just wanted to talk to Pete.

On Christmas Eve 2004, Kody went hunting with his Uncle Fred, who became his best friend after the loss of his PaPa. It was almost dusk, and Kody had fallen asleep when his uncle saw some deer coming. Fred woke Kody up and showed him the deer.

Kody was getting ready to load his gun when he noticed he'd forgotten his ammo, so Fred gave Kody his .270 to use, and he shot his first deer that day - two does, in fact. When he got home, all he could say was, "PaPa was with me."

That was the best Christmas present Kody could have ever given my mother-in-law, Sandy, and me.

Nov. 20, 2005, was opening day and Kody hit the woods with his dad, also named Pete. At about 7:30 a.m., Pete saw deer coming along the edge of a field. When the deer were in range, Kody took his shot and harvested his first buck.

When they reached the huge 10-point buck, Kody could not believe his eyes. Once again, all he would say was his PaPa was with him and brought him that deer.

I tell this story to remind folks to be thankful for their family when they are here. What a child is taught or how they are treated will always be a part of their life.

I thank Kody's Uncle Fred for giving him that special time, Vince Bermell for allowing him to hunt on his property, his dad for taking him hunting and his late PaPa for making such an impact in his life.

Kody's older brother, Kyle, 14, harvested his first buck during the 2004 season.

Tammy Wilson
Culpepper, Virginia

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