MY LITTLE COWGIRL ALL GROWN UP AND GONE ~
So quietly she left, just a duffle bag really.
Her long blonde hair tied back tight, no longer pigtails, like all the other yesterdays.
Her cowboy boots now rest, tucked in a bedroom corner, waiting for a ‘soon I will ride’ sort of day.
A day when she comes back home. Neither the boots nor I know that day.
Instead, she is flip-flop footed, heaping bags of stuff toting, computers and electronics laden with a one way ticket to somewhere.
My cowboy hat wearing, boot kick’n, horse ride’n, little cowgirl, is gone.
Just like that. 18 years melting away into memories…right before my eyes.
“I’ll call mom. I love you.” She says as she heads out the drive.
I smile. No more running after pigtails I tell myself, as I wrap my arms around like she used to do to me.
It really kicks you in the gut, that moment. When the headlights turn, heading away in the opposite direction of home. When you realize that all the kids have gone.
One really reflects then, did I prepare her well enough? Does she have all she needs? Will she call? be safe? make healthy choices? have good friends? …will she come home soon?
So, silent the farm is.
No laughter echoing through the moonlight from the barn.
No “hey mom, I think I’ll ride today…wanna come?”
The barn stalls are still active, with horses munching hay, but it’s different now.
The swirling mass of energy, that only my little blonde haired blue eyed girl could ignite, seems missed by the horses too.
They look for her. So do the dogs. Still searching around the corner for their stick throwing best friend.
Will the farm and that special way of life sculpt her forward?
Will the serenity of here, carry her through?
Wild dashing trailblazing cowgirl, all grown up and gone.
I stop as the sun sets over the mountain skyline and catch my breath.
The phone rings, “hey mom, I forgot to say I love you and goodbye…and I promise I will come back real soon.”
I smile and tell her I know, as a tear of deep love drops from my eyes.
She’ll never know I cried, I tell myself. She’ll always see my encouragement.
“Girls have the most opportunity they’ve ever had in human history,” I tell her over and over again. “Go out and make it happen, little one.”
I hang up the phone and close it softly and send a prayer to the Lord.
Watch over her now heavenly Father. She’s in your hands.
May you bring her home to me on occasion until you bring her home to you.
My crazy, beautiful, courageous cowgirl — Go out and make it happen, little one. And remember where home is and know you are truly loved.
~ Lori Davis, The Poet Farmer