A Blessing in a Cowboy Hat

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Tired, cranky and overly emotional would be good words to describe my frame of mind Friday night and Saturday morning. I spent long, hard days in NE with my Dad, sleeping in incredibly hard chairs until I could drag myself away from him to go to the motel. I was trying to grasp the reality of an unreal situation. All I wanted to do was go home, go to bed and cry myself to sleep.

About the last thing I wanted to do was go to a wedding and act like I wasn’t breaking in a million little pieces. How do you make small talk when your heart is breaking? I didn’t even want to try.

But up on the mountain we went Saturday afternoon, the wedding was today and we were going to be there. Somehow the fact that the road was fit only for the toughest of four wheel drives seemed fitting and fit my mood perfectly………… ROUGH.

Yes, I was tired, grouchy and way to emotional. I wanted no part of people, I wanted to burrow into my sorrow and I was bound and determined to have a bad day.

God had different ideas however, funny how He blesses us when we least expect it and aren’t looking for it. Everywhere I looked I found blessings.

 The Mom of the Bride so loving, gentle and attentive to her daughter while taking care of a million “wedding’ details. Step Dad who was where ever he needed to be and usually with the cutest little ring bearers I have ever seen. I remember thinking, how do you guys do that with such grace? A step Mom making sure that her step daughter knew that there was nothing more important that making this day a special one. A Dad that glowed with obvious pride at his beautiful daughter as he walked her down the aisle.

These things warmed my heart and slowly…………… healing was being poured down from heaven. It was balm to my soul.

I can’t say however that the whole day was smooth or easy nor that I handled it gracefully. There were a couple trips to the pickup with my very understanding husband to cry and let the wonders I was seeing settle deep inside me.

 An exceedingly tired, cranky, overly emotional woman is not necessarily a pretty picture. You can put on a happy face for awhile but usually not for long.

There were excruciatingly painful yet beautiful reminders yet to come for me on the wedding day. The biggest lessons of all I suspect.

 The grandfather of the bride reminded me so much of my Dad with his big cowboy hat and quiet demeanorand steady easy style. (Just a note, Gayle, you possess the same cowboy spirit as my Dad. It is not something that is fake or that has to be worked at, it just is).  The way he interacted with the kids and especially the grandkids was precious and so familiar. For a while it made me so sad to watch as it reminded me that my Dad would never get to see his grandkids get married. That he would never be that solid and steady rock in their lives.

But the more I watched the more I realized that just like Gayle, my Dad has instilled the same spirit in his family. How could I think that what he had worked to build in us over the years would just be gone when he was no longer physically present? It doesn’t work like that. Everything he taught us, every lesson we learned at his hand is still here, still prevalent and still meaningful. Although Dad can’t speak to us now we are still listening to him and living as he taught us to. God has saw fit to silence this great man for the time being as he lays quietly in his hospital bed but that does not mean we have forgotten what he taught us.

I realized I should not be mourning what I was losing but rather, rejoicing in what I had received over the years.

There were treasures for me everywhere I looked that day at the wedding on top of the mountain. It was like a calming rain healing my heart. Now that I have had a day or two to get rested from my trip to Nebraska I see that once again God put me exactly where He needed me to be to bring a sense of healing. I feel exceedingly grateful to have been a part of this day that was special in so many ways.

 To my great big crazy family. I love you. To God………….I humbly thank you.


……………..and so I ride

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