Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Once Knew A Cowboy

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy with a heart as deep and wide as the mountain valley.
A cowboy who had standards and morals as high as the snow capped mountain peaks.
A cowboy whose character was as tall and straight as the mountain pines and quakies he rode his horse among while gathering his cattle in the cool crisp fall weather.

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy whose hands, in his younger years, were rough like sandpaper and could fix any broken fence, rope any stray steer, drive any tractor, put up thousand of acres of hay and wipe away tears with tender gentleness from his daughters' cheeks.
A cowboy whose boots could walk miles in his pastures, trudge through any snow storm to tend his cattle and dance with his beautiful bride in the moonlight.

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy that loved his family and his land more than himself.
A cowboy that opened his hearth and home to anyone in need.
A cowboy that had no idea the impact he had on so many lives whom he mentored by simply living a life that was honest, true, kind, generous and merciful.

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy who battled many rounds of cancer and was so determined to not not let the silent killer take his life, he came out victorious time and time again.
A cowboy who also fought many other battles: battles over his land and his beliefs, battles for his family, battles for his community.  A cowboy who was proud to have served his country with honor and duty.

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy who eventually gave up his beloved cattle and ranch.
A cowboy whose hands eventually grew as soft as kid leather.  His heart grew as tender as his hands and soon the love he had for his cattle was replaced with an immeasurable love for his grandchildren.  The hands that use to fix fences soon learned how to swaddle babies.  The boots that use to walk the dry, dusty, dirt roads learned to walk gently while he held his grandchildren and tenderly rock them to sleep in his arms.

I once knew a cowboy.
A cowboy who was so loved by his family, thought of as a hero by his grandchildren and respected by his peers.
A cowboy who was brave enough to succumb to the cancer that persistently came into his life but not until he had all his affairs in order, not until he knew his family would be taken care of.
A cowboy who didn't give up until he was ready.
A cowboy who cried with his family and friends as they each said goodbye, holding each other tight.

I once knew a cowboy.
His saddle and horse are put away proper.  His boots, cowboy hat and rope are no longer needed.
His work on earth is done.

I once knew a cowboy, but I will forever love, treasure, value, admire, respect, appreciate and be obliged to this cowboy.  As the sun sets in the west and casts the alpine glow on the mountains in the east, I will remember him and the life he lived.  I will hold dear the times we shared. I will forever be blessed because I once knew this cowboy.







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