I may be all over the place with this story, but this is really emotional for me as I'm typing it. This is very personal and means a lot. SO, please don't judge me on proper placement or the flow of this.
As some of you may know, I was raised in a single parent (mother) home because my father passed away when I was 5 years old. So my mother Josephine Henderson was forced to raise bad ass boys and 2 okay girls on her own. Although my father passed when I was young, he gave me something that will be with me for a lifetime. He took me fishing and I was able to receive and keep those memories. It's been a struggle for my family growning up.
My mother had to support 4 kids on her own back in the 1980s, but we never knew how hard she had it. All we saw and knew were the toys, bikes, days at the park, and going to the fair. Not realizing that my mother barely slept because she had 2 and sometimes 3 jobs to support us, and still had to come home and cook. Not to mention she was going back to school to set a good example for us. I love you Mom! Even with all the advanced technology, a college degree and good job, most of us can't handle even one child on our own. We were living in hard times and we didn't even know it. All I had the urge for was to be outside and fish. I didn't understand why though.
I knew I was different from the rest of my siblings because I would rather go fishing than anything else. My mother told me I was just like my father because that's all he did. As young as I was (I had to be 4 or 5), I can remember my father saying to me after a fishing trip, with a smile on his face, "You're scared to touch the fish now that it's not moving, but wouldn't touch it when it's alive!" Some fathers don't understand what their absences can do to their child and some spoiled brats don't understand how lucky they are to have a father that will give the world to them. Some folks never get a second chance at it and some that are hand picked by God are extemely lucky.
God must be watching over me. We lived in a house in North Miami that we grew up in. We were there for 10-11 years before we lost our house and had to move. At first, I was scared because we came from liberty city projects and that was our first house, but excited too because the possibility that I'd see new girls LOL. Hey, I was young and full of raging hormones. We ended up finding a place in Miami Lakes, a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. Let me help you with a visual: Me and my brother are 19 years old, 1 sister is 20 years old with 1 kid, and my oldest sister was 24 years old with 2 kids. Yeah it was 8 people in one apartment. So I never wanted to be in. Guess what I found in the back of the apartment complex? Yup a freaking lake.
I couldn't wait to go outside because I wanted to be by the water and man was I excited. I had no rod, just a old reel with some line. I knew the basics; I needed bait to catch big fish. Big fish eat small fish kind of thought. I never used a lure at that time and I was 19-20 years of age. I ran up stairs and got some bread and found some small hooks. I caught a few brim with my lonely reel and used that reel to catch bass with the brim. This blonde hair, blue eyed guy was out there fishing. I was amazed because he was using lures and I had some fake worms with me. As I approached him, I was like "man he looks like a redneck! I hope he's cool! " to see if he would show me. Well surprise, surpise. I got way more than I expected.
So I went up to this white guy (that's what I was thinking LOL) I said hi, my name is Kwan. What's yours? He said "Roger." I was like "yup he's a redneck" LOL. I asked him if he would show me how to use a worm to catch bass like he's doing. I promise you at the moment, with no hesitation he said sure. Here's how you hook it and here's how you work it." From that day on, we became the odd couple because he took me everywhere and taught me a lot. I remember 2 moments that I will never forget: 1. When I found out he was cuban because he started speaking spanish LMFAO. I was like "Wait, you speak spanish?" he said "Yeah I'm cuban." You can image the dumb look on my face at that time. 2. He told me I'm his son/family/friend. Let me tell you something your mother/father doesn't have to marry someone for them to be your parent.
I owe everything and I do mean everything to Roger. He did for me what a great father would do for their biological kids. He didn't have much, but I never heard him complain about anything. All he did was fish and he was and still is the best I have ever met to do it. We lost contact for years and I couldn't find him. I felt lost and life was really kind of crazy. I lost a lot of weight from working out, started kayak fishing, and got married to a beautiful woman and have an awesome 10 year old son and 8 month old daughter. Everytime I went fishing I would feel about Roger what I felt about my father. That is "maybe I'll see him when I go fishing!" That's where I find peace. Where I find meaning. Where I find God and my spirit.
There's a wonderful thing about God and technology. This Moday, October 20, 2014, I went on facebook and typed in Roger Beltran. It was a long shot because he wasn't in to technology, he was into being out on the water with a line in the water. SO I wasn't sure I was going to find him. The search came back and I saw his picture and I wasn't sure because he has his account set to private. I don't blame him. So I searched his 2 kids and found Nick. Luckily for me, Nick's account wasn't private. Ssshh, don't tell Nick that LOL. I went through his profile and saw the same guy as his father. At this point I knew I had the right person. Sent Nick a friend request and message to his inbox telling him to give me a call.
Like I said, God has me in his favor because I found the guy that called me his son, his kids my brother/sister, and his wife as family. You don't find people like that nowadays, but I am blessed to have found them. I can truly call this young man that's not that much older than me my 2nd father. I pray that God blesses him for all the work he put in with me and the unconditional love he had for a stranger that's now and will always be his/my family. Love you man AND TIGHT LINES FOREVER. PS: Now all you guys are in trouble because I have my sensei back. Be afraid. Be very afraid LOL!