Thursday, July 20, 2006

Never let her down – part 4

Never let her down part 1
Never let her down part 2
Never let her down part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Anyhow—I figured that that was how I felt about my gun. I loved having it, but I loved the gun even more and didn't want to see it destroyed. I figured that if it went to Dennis, I would still be able to visit it and shoot it sometimes. So that afternoon, I told my mother what had happened and that I wanted to give Dennis the gun.

As I was telling her, tears started flowing from her eyes. I wish she hadn't done that, because soon I was crying right alongside of her. I figured she was sad because of the pain she was causing me by giving my gun away. I was sad because of it, too, but I never intended to start blubbering about it.

Then, she told me what was happening. She knew all about the gun being fixed. Mr. Cathcart had told her in church that day. She was waiting for me to tell her, to see what kind of citizen I was. Apparently, she knew what a rough time I was having over the decision. She had picked up on that the evening before.

To my surprise, she said I could keep the gun! Mr. Cathcart had told my dad how to take the trigger parts out so it wouldn't shoot, and they could put them back in when I was old enough for them. So that was what we did. The parts came out and went into a small vase in the living room and I got to play with the gun just like before. If I wanted to shoot it, I had to ask my mother or dad to put the parts back in, and they would supervise me while I shot. And that is how the strangest thing of all happened.

One day I asked my mother when my dad was coming home, because I wanted to shoot my gun. She said he wasn't coming home that day, because he was off to some volunteer firefighter camp for three days. I thought about asking whether Mr. Cathcart could do it, but before I asked, she told me he was at the same camp. But my mother said she would watch me shoot after she finished he laundry. So, to her complete surprise, I pitched in and helped her do it. Me - the kid who had to be reminded to put his clean socks away after they had been washed, dried and delivered to my bedroom was helping without being asked!

We finished the laundry in short order, and then went out back to the shooting range my dad had fixed for me. We had done this before, but she had always just watched from a chaise lounge. This time she said she wanted to learn to shoot. Now it was my turn to be amazed. My gun-hating mother wanted to learn how to shoot!


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