This - really this - is the world's funniest story. My Dad always loved to go hunting.
Sometimes he would bring back a trophy rack, sometimes only beautiful pictures, but every year when the temperature dropped and when we could see our breath hang on the air we knew "the hunt" was coming.
Every year he went through the ritual of cleaning and siteing in his gun, getting all the camping gear out and ready, and of course, the preparation of food and snacks.
You never, however, hunt alone. There was always at least one friend or relative just as excited as my Dad, and just as involved in all the preparation. We always anxiously awaited his return - and a chance to rejoice in his success.
As my Dad began to age his eyesite started to fail. He learned that he had macular degeneration and that there was a pie-slice shape in his vision where he was unable to see.
His best friend and hunting buddy, Frank, developed Parkinson's disease and became very unsteady.
A year or two went by - quite depressing years as there would be no more hunting. Then one year as the temperature began to drop and their breath hung in the air - they decided that they were going hunting.
One of them, after all, had great vision. The other was as steady at holding the gun and squeezing the trigger as he had ever been. They decided they could do it together.
So they went through the ritual - cleaning and siteing in their guns, getting all the camping gear ready, and preparing the food. And away they went. They had scouted out the perfect place, a lookout sequestered in the tall pines, where they could observe the surrounding mountainside with ease.
And then - there it was - a trophy buck - a perfect shot. They quickly and silently moved into position, my Dad holding the rifle, Frank with his eye up to the scope.
"Move it to the right", Frank whispered, "more." "No back," "up a little."
And then it happened. My Dad began to chuckle. The rifle began to shake. Then Frank began to chuckle. Then they both laughed out loud, dropped the rifle, and laughed even harder as they watched the buck bound away.
As for the families - we all laughed harder than they did when they told us the story. Not only is this an enduring story that will last forever, but it is a story of courage and determination of living
life to it's fullest.