The question was asked before branding, “Peg, do you think I can pull the rope?”
He had pulled the rope at the sweep pen for years. He knew the answer before he asked, but he asked anyway.
I said, “Dad, I know you can’t pull it for all the cows, but for a few you will do great. You get out here and we will give it a go.”
We were down to the wire on the cows. To be exact, there were three left and still no dad. I finally saw him driving slowly down the hill.
As he approached, our crew came to a standstill. He drove his car through the calving lot, parked and with great difficulty got out. He made his way to the rope, not an easy task at 93. Tears were streaming down his face as well as mine.
He pulled that old rope, and in those cows came, calm as could be one at a time.
Dad’s tears weren’t tears of sadness for what he was no longer able to do, but tears of thankfulness that he was able to pull the rope for three cows. His last remark as he left the corral, “There, I worked, now I can eat!”
My dad loved to work and to feel productive, and that day, those three cows were just what he needed.
It was the last time my dad would pull the rope. At the age of 95 my dad changed his address from earth to heaven, a day he had longed for. He was such a diamond in my life. My dad passed on his love of birds and all critters. He made sure we knew God came first. He was known for being patriotic to the core, as a WWII B26 pilot, he fought for you and for me. He loved Jesus, my mother, his family, his country, his friends, and he loved to work.
The lessons he taught me are ones that will never be forgotten. I, an imperfect kid, who had an imperfect, perfect-for-me dad, am grateful. Grateful for the time I had and for the diamonds that glow as bright as the day he shared them.
Missed you this Father’s Day, dad.
Proverbs 23:22: “Listen to your father, who gave you life and do not despise your mother when she is old.”