Yesterday marked 5 years since you left for heaven. At times it seems like only days have passed, then there are others that it seems like forever since you left.
I know I don't have to write this letter and I hear you telling there is no need, because you already know what I am going to put down. Ok... so this letter is for me and my own mindset. You can just listen as I play it out on paper. Every other day I would just talk to you while driving to or from work, but Drew's truck is broke down, he has my car, and Jeffrey and I are carpooling. Yes, it saves us money and we should continue.
We finished the pens! It took a year in the making, but they are finished. We weaned this years spring calves just a few weeks ago. The pens work great! Jeffrey and Drew have worked so hard building them.
You told me the night before you left, to invest in my property, buy
some cattle and grow slow. You assured me that was the right way to do
it. We have done just that! The ranch isn't what it was back in
the day, but it is alive and thriving. We have goals set and seem to reach them each year, just in time to set new ones. We continue to uphold that Rockin' B brand!
Weaned calves are now in pasture. Yes, they will be sold pre-conditioned, just like you taught me. We will take them to sale in mid November. We have been selling them at the sale barn near Tonya. That makes it nice to swing by and visit with them. The sale barn seems to treat us fairly. They now know who we are and let the buyers know the calves are pre-conditioned and in good shape. Last year, one of the buyers sought us out and complimented us on the calves. Jeffrey and Drew were so proud!
We bought a set of fancy heifers on Black Friday last year. They will be ready for the bull in December. I can't wait to see what their babies look like! These little girls didn't quite make the sellers show string. Daddy, they are so pretty! When they get close to their due date, we will bring them home to calve. Remember the days of baby watch? Thankfully the pens are just out the back door of the house.
Speaking of the house... It's been 3 years since the fire. Even though we are settled into a new normal, there seems to always be things left to do. The old shop next to the house has got to go! So does the shed in the back! I keep pushing for that to happen, but am quickly reminded of your words "All in due time."
I have noticed a change in myself and have guilted myself a few times these past months. Whenever I would have a problem, you were always the first I would reach to dial on my phone or want to call out to. It was September, I don't remember my issue but Jeffrey was my first go to guy. I felt guilt that I had called him on reaction and not you. Then I later realized this was a milestone for me. I have grown. I think of you every day, but manage my fears and anxiety much better now. Well... I say I do. The guys may tell you differently...
Drew is doing well! He and his Cattlemen's group placed 3rd with their homecoming float. The float was Drew's design! Daddy, that boy has a mind like you, when it comes to industrial, manufacturing and welding. The Cattlemen also placed 3rd in sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is all homecoming activities combined for the week. The AGR men also won house decoration and sweepstakes.
We had the Cattlemen at the house last evening for dinner. These young men are much like Tuff's group of college buddies. They are so well mannered and respectful. The difference is, not a single young man at the house yesterday has family living in Oklahoma. Jeffrey and I are happy to be their surrogate parents. We think we may even have a few for Thanksgiving.
Although Drew's first semester at school was a struggle, he has since changed his major and is headed in the right direction for who he is. He is balancing classes, work and his social schedule. He has accepted an internship, with Helena Chemical, starting this summer. He will do a bit of traveling, for training sessions, before being "planted" in Garden City, KS for the summer. Tuff has done his part in checking things out, like a big bother should. He says it will be an experience for Drew, as we all agree. Drew's excitement is easy to see and hard to contain!
The Big Kids.... Well.... They are going to have a baby! A baby girl at that! You already knew that too... Yes, I paid attention when you showed me. Daddy, they have named her Bower Marie! I tear up every time I write, think or hear her name. What an honor and tribute to you and our family! Oh you should see how pretty she is in her ultrasound photos! This is one time, I wish I were with you for just one quick peek into the future. February can't get here quick enough! Darb is so cute with her little belly! Tuff is one proud Daddy! They are going to be amazing parents!
They are preparing for her arrival, just as you would expect them too. Their house is for sale, actually under contract. They have a new home to move into already. You would approve of the new home. It is all one level. Bower's nursery will be close to the big kid's room. No more worries of two stories and stairs.
Jeffrey is shopping for ponies and saddles, and we have Miss Bower Marie's first heifer picked out. She is so spoiled and she isn't even here. I told a friend, "My boys were raised there is a difference between "want' and "need". I am not sure that rule applies to Miss Bower!" Aunt Lois is excited to get started on nursery decor. The Big Kids will
be home for Thanksgiving, as well. I'm sure Aunt Lois will have her
list ready, sewing machine threaded and on standby.
I had fears and have always questioned my parenting abilities with the boys. Somehow, I have no fears of being a MooMaw to a pretty little frilly COWgirl! Even though frills and bows are a whole new world to me, I know Miss Bower and I will make it just fine! I just need her MooPaw to keep the checkbook flowing. I fear that since of financial responsibility, you instilled in the boys and I, may go out the window with this little one.
Day jobs are going well for us all too. We are all so busy running different directions, but always seem to come together often. I know you are proud of us, how we have grown and the things we have accomplished. Traditions have changed since you left us, but you are always here. There are times I look and can see you watching us. You are smiling your big smile, with your toothpick in your mouth, and you nod your head. That's all I need!
I Love You Too!