Getting ready to head south towards Texas, with a truck full of girls. Every one of them will undoubtedly be sleeping within a few miles of leaving the house. It’s been a long, fun, hard and emotional trip.
These little quick two-day turnaround trips are brutal. You spend all Friday evening driving, so you can spend Saturday and a half day Sunday trying to see everyone that you need to see, just to turn around and drive all the way back to Texas on Sunday afternoon.
But, we do it. Because…it’s worth it. For any of you that spend much time on my page, you know that there is nothing that I put in front of my family. And the reason for that is pretty simple. It’s been taught. By our dad. By our mom. By her mom and dad. By our dad’s dad. And even by HIS dad.
The bond that a family has is stronger than any one person can ever be. Sure, there will be occasional spats, arguments or aggravations, but at the end of the day, our blood, our love for each other, our appreciation for each other, can overcome any problems that we may encounter.
We are all human. We all have the occasional hurt feelings. We all have selfish thoughts. We may all thoughtlessly utter an unkind word, or even say something downright hurtful. But none of these things should ever be powerful enough to defeat the family unit that has been set in place by the generations before us.
We may not always agree. We may even sometimes drive our family members crazy with bad decisions and stupid mistakes. But the whole point of having this family behind you is to forgive each other, and to support each other. It’s easy to be supportive when everything is good. When there are no issues or problems. It’s what a family does when faced with difficulty and trials that shows their true character. And it makes me proud to be a part of a family that has been able to endure many of those difficult things, and still can come together for a weekend at the ranch, and laugh and tell stories and play games and watch football. It’s something that I love being a part of. It’s something that I love that I am able to give to April, Abby, Emma and Gracee. It’s better than any material thing that I could ever give them.
So as I drive home tonight, I’ll be a little sad, just as I have been every time that I have left my home and my family, to go back to wherever the hell I happen to be living at the time. But I’ll also look around the cab of this truck at the pretty sleeping girls I get to take home with me, and be proud of the family that April and I have made. And I’ll pray that I am able to teach them the value of a family, just as I was taught, so that they can someday teach it to their children, too. So that someday, when I’m an old, worn out cowboy sitting in my recliner, looking around the room at the legacy that I’m leaving behind, I can feel happy and confident that the family will go on being a family when I’m gone.
Today before I had to leave, I spent a few minutes with Papa. I told him I was sorry I was so far away. I told him I was sorry for not seeing him more. He had a little moment of clarity; he grabbed my hand and he said “you don’t need to be sorry. You’re just taking care of your little family, and that’s what a man needs to do. Family is everything. Without y’all, I ain’t nothing.”
I hear ya, Papa. Loud and clear.