Friday, August 16, 2013

Blood, Water, & Wine

"Blood is thicker than water, but in my profession I have found blood will often run quicker than water when leaving a wounded heart."
                                          a moment at work, chaos surrounding my observation

This life is about learning to let go, growing into perfection, and building relationships. Not necessarily in that order. Family is the only relationship that is given to us, and it is often the one we learn the least about, work very little at building, and almost always have the hardest time letting go. 

Eleven and a half years ago I met a man that was not family. I thought him funny, peculiar,
honest, and often grumpy. He was nothing more to me than water. I saw him on occasion, a couple of times a week. He frequented one of my hangouts at the time. 

He would make small talk with me as I waited for a ride, and he complimented me often on my ability to "ignore the obvious", his words not mine. I figured it out eventually, but not by myself.

Blood mixed with water, it created a river that today is the root of my soul. 

This man was named Donald Monroe Thorp. He is my father in law, and one of the two unyielding forces that brought me and my husband together. My mother is the other one, but today this story is about Don or "Senior".

One day while waiting for a ride, he caught me by surprise and offered me a job. It was odd, because it was a job that sounded trivial, and honestly something he or his boy could handle. I was intrigued and accepted. He had hired me to halter break a filly, a yearling Quarter horse filly. Easy enough, I hopped in his truck and he drove me to his house where the filly was kept. This was not your ordinary filly, she was bred by the devil, conceived by a horse. As we leaned on her pen that was bent in seven different directions, fire breathed from her nose, and her eyes were rimmed with red. I couldn't back down now, I had something to prove. I was a cowgirl and nothin' scared me. 

There was more to the story. See Senior bought this mare with a filly by her side, he did it without the consent of his business partner, also know as his ranch hand/halter breaking/son. So in turn that partner refused to see the beauty of this package deal, and would not lay a hand on either of the horses. 

On day three or four of my frustration I was making progress but it was slow, and I had a bruise the shape of Alaska on my shin. The business partner came out to see how it was going. I remember he leaned on the pen, beer in hand and watched me sweat for twenty minutes or so. Then he said something along the lines of "she's a real bitch." Not wanting to let him win, I decided to win him over with this filly. 

It never worked...she really was a bitch, her mother even worse. I sold them both actually and did a dance when I did..that is a whole other story too. 

The point wasn't about these horses, the point was to bring Don (junior) and I together. It worked and it has lasted. 

Senior was a sneaky devil, he always had a twinkle in his eye, and a dry sense of humor you couldn't help but smile at. He had a heart as big as Texas, and the love he had for his children was eternal. He was honest, to a fault. He had a work ethic that could put the toughest men to shame. He was stubborn, and very insistent sometimes to a fault.  

I was disappointed that I only got to know this man for a little over a year and half. However as coincidence would have it I got to work side by side with him for that entire year and a half. Not to mention live within thirty feet of him. I will never forget the morning he came with coffee and the thrifty nickel to find me in the kitchen. The look on his face was priceless as he mumbled something about coming back later, and so much for weddings. 

So although I don't know him like I should I got an opportunity to see a part of his soul. He left to early ten years ago today. His son and two daughters miss him dearly. I wish my daughters could have met him, he would have loved them with all his heart. I figure he is watching over us, and sometimes I can see him with his hands in his pockets, toothpick in mouth, with just the hint of a smile thinking damn I did something right. 

 Blood is thicker than water, but we need that blood to run with water to slow it's pace in this great race of life. Stop, sit back and drink a glass of wine. Remember those who have raised you, and remember those who have raised the ones you love. Blood, water, & wine nothing richer, more life fulfilling, or sweeter. 


TimeTraveler said...

Nice post. It's good to record our memories.

farawayeyes said...

Family is the constant in our lives.