Or a man, rather. The male of the species would rather not be called “boy.” The female of the species is just fine with “girl,” or anything else that brings her slipping and sliding closer to her youth: baby, little lady, fetus, etc.
You get the idea.
But back to the man:
Dear Friend of My Husband,
You came into our lives with sirens wailing, guns slinging, and horns a-blazing. Through jobs, hunts, BBQs, and catastrophes, we have been given glimpses into your definition. You persevered and brought so much to the table; there was no way to push back a chair and leave it.
After years – how can that be? – of living and helping and showing up, our families are now all strung together, and you are now a part of our Big Picture. One of the first that never knew us “before” but only “since.” And we have had the immense privilege of watching your first family – your childhood family from home - send you off and build you up. And then of watching your new family – the forever family you helped build – show up, rise up around you, and grow up; not only in numbers, but in heart and knowledge and responsibilities.
Even though you didn’t know our high school grades
or our grandparents’ last names
or how our parents love us
or how much fun we had in college
or the epic that was our meeting, courtship, and wedding,
you took us for who we were that day and didn’t need the rest.
No matter how I have fought the disruptions and rescues and changes, you have proven yourself a rooted statue, and you have shown yourself a true friend with a big heart and the best of intentions.
Thank you for the patience you may have never intended and for turning a blind eye. Thank you for sharing your family. Thank you for sharing a life of horses and dogs and miles and pastures and hard work.
You will never read this, because what cowboy reads a blog, when he can be riding a horse or chasing a hog or training a dog or oiling his saddle or planning the next great venture, while walking boots across thirsty grass in the dark of night? Not you. Not you who cannot sit still and has better air to breathe and more glory to chase.
Not you, who has a boy to teach and girl to watch. Not you, who has a wife that makes your days easier and your life prettier.
Not you, who has a truck to drive and a shredder to fix and a hog to tie.
But maybe…one day…I can say out loud that you made me try harder, you made me better, and you have shown me myself, whether I wanted to see or not. And that I am lucky as any to have learned my lesson, kicking and screaming, from a true grit cowboy made of leather, dirt, sun, and more heart and try than most.
Thank you, with Bull-Headed Reluctance,
The Girl Who Found Billy the Kid