Son recounts Boilermaker’s struggles
“THE GUY THAT won the boat last night was deserving and my hero,” wrote Scott Carey in a letter to the editor of On The Water magazine last fall. Scott was referring to his father, retired AIP William Carey, who had just won a 2006 Grady-White fishing boat in a raffle at the magazine’s Striper Cup Tournament.
A member of Local 29 (Boston), Bill Carey served as a Construction Division International rep and assistant to the International president. He retired on disability in 2003.
In his letter to the magazine, Scott recounted his father’s fight with bone and lung cancer — and how Bill never complained but struggled and beat those illnesses. When Bill was well enough, the father and son began fishing throughout Massachusetts as a way to spend time together. Scott wrote that they learned to fish “on the fly . . . picking up any piece of advice we could from magazines, television, and other fishermen.”
But Bill’s struggles were not over. “We found out my father had contracted congestive heart failure from the chemotherapy,” Scott said in his letter. “I can’t remember ever having so much anger and sorrow, thinking about a man who fought in Vietnam, beat cancer twice, was an amazing husband and father, and no matter what curve ball life threw at him, he showed us how to persevere without complaint.”
Only three percent of people receiving chemotherapy develop congestive heart failure, Scott was told, and he was angry and frustrated that his dad would have to fall into that category. But Bill didn’t see it that way. “My dad said, ‘Scott, you can choose to look at it the way you’re looking at it right now. I choose not to. I choose to look at the last eight years as a blessing to spend with you and the family that I couldn’t have had without the chemotherapy.’
“I realized,” Scott concluded, “how right my father was and how lucky we truly are, just to speak to one another every day.”
— Excerpted, with permission, from On The Water magazine.