This is an ode to the most beautiful woman I know. No finer lady will this world have the pleasure of knowing, and at 66, may she know that’s she’s the most beautiful version of herself now more than ever. May this serve as a reminder that even though she’s a mother, a wife, and a grandmother, that she is still all woman, and most importantly, uniquely amazing with what she offers up to this world with the biggest and kindest of hearts…. Happiest of birthdays, Mama…
I always picture her here on the back of spry black & white paint horse riding down a mountain trail. Her black hair and dark eyes glitter, and you know she’s at home here, the most in love here, and the most alive here. She sits tall and true. She rides.
But in all actuality, this is how she handles life and all the crazy it throws at her. She’s seen mountains of heartbreak, admitted guilt, nursed sick children, loved her family and husband fiercely, she’s fallen and risen, and prayed her way through it all. Sure, she’s made mistakes and blamed herself; nobody is more aware of them than her. But, through it all, she rides, head held high, straighter and truer with every turn of the trail. She rides.
She’s tough. I’ve seen her eat dirt coming off a rank colt, and pull herself up and throw a leg over him one more time, just to prove she’s boss. She has a way with horses; she sees untapped potential, and she loves the challenge of the ornery ones. And she rides them. She hangs and rattles with the best of ’em because she rides.
Lord, she’s strong; strong- willed and strong-minded, but mostly, strong-hearted. The only fear I’ve ever seen in her is the possibility of losing a loved one. And she’s been there. She’s lost love and she cries. And she loves again, stronger. She extends her open arms and heart to those around her, those in need of it most, stranger or friend. She rides through this life with grace and love. She rides.
She paints beautiful pictures, she builds a home full of laughter, love, kindness and respect. She’s music, Sunday morning hymnals, and a little kick-ass country because it’s Monday. She’s fast horses, Sunday morning church, and a lover and a fighter. She’s woman, all beautiful woman, refined and lady-like and tough as nails. She’s all of these because she rides.
I’m lucky enough to call her Mama. There’s nobody I look up to more in this life, and I am forever grateful for all she’s ever been to me. Strength when I needed, a boot in the ass when I deserved it, and unconditional love always. Thank you for all the firsts in this life, like teaching my to drive a stick and pull a horse trailer, how to cook, and how to get tough when the tough get going. Thank you for your love and support through the years when I doubted my own skills and strengths. But I’m most thankful for your teaching me to ride. Straight, strong and true, she rides…
Love you, Mama. Happy Birthday!