I received word today that my step-father passed away last night. I haven’t seen him in ten years nor spent any significant time with him in probably twenty years so I am shocked at the pain I feel.
Jerry was a great guy. He had his issues – don’t we all. He cared for me during some very formative years and I give him a great deal of credit for making me the person I am today. I don’t claim to be like him – we are very different people. He was a cowboy in every sense of the word. Nonetheless; he taught me a great work ethic, the value of hard work, and the confidence and ability to just dive in and do stuff and fix things. He was a strong example of a man when my world shattered at the age of six.
One time at dinner I made the mistake of giving a look of “yuck” at a bowl of cauliflower. Before I knew it, my ENTIRE plate was loaded with the contents of that bowl and I was told to eat it – in no uncertain terms. I did so. I now love cauliflower, have a much more open mind, and know to keep my thoughts to myself!
I remember irrigating with him one day. The sprinkler pipe had been leaking and the road was a muddy mess so he walked out to move the line. I waited in the truck. When he was done and while walking back he started waiving at me. I knew this meant to drive out to pick him up. I got about ten feet into the mud and was stuck as sure as could be. He was waving at me to turn on the sprinkler pump NOT to pick him up. It was a VERY quiet walk back to the ranch. Making matters worse, he tried to pull the truck out with a tractor and got it stuck too. Yes, ANOTHER walk back to the ranch. I was not his favorite person that day!
One summer my Mom was complaining of not having a garage to park in during the winter. Jerry picked up a chain saw, cut out the side of an out building and told her to park in there! Don’t over-complicate it – just solve the problem. 🙂
He was probably the hardest working man to ever live. Imagine a ten year old kid trying to keep up with that.
Finally, I remember his huge smile! Spinning a rattle snake around by the tail, riding a wild horse, throwing bails of hay off the stack at me – he was smiling! Well, unless the truck was stuck in the mud….
I miss you Jerry and I pray that you are standing today with Christ in Heaven.