My brain is pretty weird, and I don’t understand the way it works some times. Remembering is often difficult. I tend to blame it on not listening or being distracted or the fact I gave all my good brain cells to my son.
I remember faces just fine, but often have a tough time paring them with names. I can remember the date of my first rodeo win and most details about the day my son was born (parts are still foggy because of the drugs). However if you were to ask me what I wore a week ago or what I had for supper two days ago, I’d have to consciously think about it. But clothes and food memories are pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, aren’t they?
There is a particular day coming up that I haven’t decided if I want to even remember yet. On Monday it will be the one-year anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. I sure as heck don’t want to relive the events of that day a year ago, as I think about it often as it is. More often than not I have to remind myself that God has a plan and he needed Steve more than we did. That’s still hard to do.
However, I am choosing to remember more often the times we spent fishing or sitting around in his shop solving all the worlds problems over cans of Coors Light. Or how he taught me that red beer is much better with salt and pepper. I’d like to think I was the one who introduced him to red beer, but again my crazy brain won’t let me remember.
I won’t forget the time my husband and him decided to start raising chickens. After a trip to Buffalo, Okla., to a “rather strange” guy selling all kinds of baby chicks (that my husband found via Tradio a radio program on a Woodward, Okla., station). My husband, my in-laws and I piled into the car and away we went. Unfortunately the car broke down and the chicken guy let us borrow his pickup (a single cab) to go back home. What a nice guy! The weeks after were spent looking at the chickens planning a business selling eggs. And then came the butchering since the “hens” we were sold turned out to be boys.. Oh man, that was a good time! But I will spare you the gory details.
Another time I had gotten a different pickup and didn’t have a gooseneck ball in the new one it yet. Sometime during that particular day while I was at work my horse decided to try to cut her back foot off. She was squirting blood when I found her and needed a trip to the vet. My husband was still working and I was without a vehicle to take her to the vet with. I was bawling and called Steve. Being the softy he was he brought his pickup down and while we waited on Spence, I couldn’t stop crying because of the horse. We stood in the yard and bawled together. The horse survived and Steve bought me a gooseneck ball for my pickup for my birthday.
That wasn’t the first time Steve would come to my rescue. During the summer of 2010 my husband went on wheat harvest. My sister and I decided to go to a barrel race one evening after work. It was 100+ degrees and it took longer than normal to catch her horses because they didn’t want to be caught. By the time we got to Ashland we were running late and she was driving faster than she probably should have on a light (ok, very light) tank of fuel. Who knew a 1/4 of a tank wouldn’t go 50 miles. Right outside of Ashland her pickup died and luckily there was a nice farmer who pulled her pickup and trailer to the fairgrounds. Her husband was gone trucking and mine was in South Dakota. I thought who do I know here that could help us? Steve! I called and told him what had happened and he brought some fuel with him. I called my dad too and he brought my pickup just in case we didn’t have a vehicle to get home with. We went ahead and warmed our horses up and ran. By the time the race was over Steve and some others had managed to get us running. Always gracious to me he wouldn’t take any money and I stuffed some cash in his shirt pocket and gave him a huge hug.
While I may not remember his reaction the first time I met him, I do remember his reaction when I won my first saddle; when Spence and I announced our engagement; his face at our wedding; and when we announced we were expecting our first child. He was one to show his emotion and not be embarrassed about it.
Until we meet again, I will continue to remember all the good times and smile when I think of you.
My father-in-law Steve and his dog Dolly.