Difference of Opinion

My dad was out fishing on Fox Lake in southwestern Minnesota with my cousin, Jerry. Both have been fishing at Fox lake since they were young boys. My father’s mother, Charlotte, and her brother Duane both owned lake homes on opposite sides of the lake for several decades. 

Last year our families said goodbye to Charlotte and Duane, respectively, as they transitioned from their physical bodies into the realms of spirit and mystery within a short time of one another.

Here is the email I received from my father:

Jerry and I encountered this on the fishing opener on Fox Lake.  I have never had trumpeter swans this close(40ft).  They landed probably 50 yards from the boat and just kept swimming towards us.  As I sat there pondering their beauty it struck me that there was most likely a deeper meaning to their arrival.  I am a deep believer that spirits of loved ones no longer with us manifest themselves to us in many different forms,  most of which we never realize.  There is little doubt in my mind that Charlotte and Duane visited us that morning to wish us best fishing.  The pair was communicating and after about 5 minutes they gracefully departed.  I think they must have said something like “Do you think they know”.  Jerry noted that it appeared that at some point in their communication that there was a difference of opinion.  For me that solidifies the fact.  There is love even with a difference of opinion.  All the Best!  Greg   


I find such joy and peace in my dad’s interpretation of the magical trumpeter swans, rightly named Duane and Charlotte. My grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s for several years before her transition time.

I asked her once during our final months together ” What do you think happens when we die”?

Grandma Charlotte just laughed and said “Well, we just go on…and on…and on”


Thanks to Jerry Cooper for capturing the moment with this picture of the pair of swans.



8 thoughts on “Difference of Opinion

  1. I like the fact that they flew away together too. Regardless of their differences they still stuck together.

  2. No “Difference of Opinion” from me on this story. I actually did erupt into tears into tears, about half way through your post, yesterday. (This happens to me when I am struck with the solidarity/knowing/understanding of some Great Universal Truth, as such things can never be stifled.) Today, wanting to know something more about the “Trumpeter Swan” besides that it is a bird, I looked it up. What I learned allowed me to have an even deeper appreciation of it’s significance. I thank you.

    • Thank you Coach Mandy! The difference of opinion seemed to be from the swans themselves. According to the witnesses, the pair seemed to be having a conversation between themselves which appeared to him as “A Difference of Opinion” hense the title. I also looked into the swans and found they mate for life, which also brought happiness to me! Thank you for reading, commenting and finding the beauty in the experience shared by my dad and my cousin.

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