Having walked through the garage the day before, I remember glancingat them, two fishing rods side by side. Memories were flooding my hearton this, the last day of a season. She had changed considerably sincethe first time we went fishing.The first fish she ever caught in the boat was a whiting, which wasbundled up in a rag and tenderly kissed until it went stiff later thatafternoon. An incurable sanguine, she incessantly chattered away withall creatures, mothering or smothering them. She’d wrap the cat up in abunny rug and place him in a toy stroller, completely unfazed by hislocked back ears and that crazed look in his eyes.There were fancy dress parties, sleepovers, and as soon as the sunkicked off its starry quilt, she was out of bed determined not to miss outon one day. Her cuddles were just the best, whether out of deliriousexcitement, sorrow, pain, or fear, I relished them. Should I have spentmore time fishing with her, sharing life with her, instead of being busywith the business of life?And now, literally, the clouds are parting as we walk hand in handacross the paddock to the chapel. Back at the house, the jazz trio istuning up, the cheeses, meats, wines and olives are being laid out.This good man she has given her heart to is soon to hold her handthrough the joys and trials of life.The name in my contacts has changed, but in my heart she’ll always bemy little girl.