She’d been waiting for me. Anticipating my arrival. Anxious to hear the truth.
Was her son really dead?
I’d been the one to last touch him. To brush the wisps of blood-caked hair from his gnarled face. Holding his hand until the warmth finally departed from his mangled body. Knowing his spirit had long been gone.
She needed to hear from me. His only child.
To be wrapped safely with the security of love.
I dreaded the encounter. Telling my grandmother her son had passed from this life to eternity. She’d never again hear his truck engine rumble loudly next door nor look out the window to see him doing yard work. His booming voice would no longer greet her at the door.
And how would I keep my composure. He was my daddy.
I entered through the kitchen where family gathered, and the room fell silent. Her eyes caught mine with a glimpse of hope that the story was only a rumor. Wanting to believe it had all been a lie.
Without words, but by a heavy embrace, she knew the truth.
Her moans and sorrow erupted violently. And she begged of me to answer her.
With questions of my own causing doubtful resolution, I was speechless. But, I was determined to stay strong for this grieving mother. My grandma. A woman with quiet fortitude and a Cajun humor. Steadfast and full of grace. Yet, fragile and weak with a broken heart. Her son gone. I felt the need to protect.
She wept loudly and began spiraling into despair. Confessing she could not take hold of what life was placing into her aged and feeble hands.
Taking a deep breath, I drew strength from what I’d learned through the one sitting before me. And I reminded her.
Yes, you can, Grandma.
You still have it.
You’re going to do what you always do.
What you taught me to do.
We’re going to do it together, Grandma.
You and me.
We’re going to cowgirl up.
Somehow this resonated in her soul.
A firm decision to get back on the horse and ride again. Dusting off the dirt. Grabbing the horn, driving the foot into the stirrup, and pulling up into the saddle. Taking hold of the reins.
Life is hard. Around each bend, I encounter unexpected obstacles. I’m often knocked off my horse.
Dirty and bruised. Weary and worn. Wounds caked with bloody grit.
Wiping the dust from my face, with jaw set, I take a determined stand.
Stomp the mud from my boots with a strengthened spirit.
Jump back on my horse.
And cowgirl up.
So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)