As I sit and gaze at your picture
I travel back to days of yore
To the ranch on the Nebraska prairie
And the place where you called home.
I came to teach their school
And was introduced to you
My life changed at that moment
For what I saw was a man honest and true.
A man who since age fifteen
Has been on his own
His reputation it was good
And he worked nine years for the former 101.
He had just moved up the valley
To their uncle's ranch
When I came upon the scene
A city girl it seemed but I wasn't really green.
My mom was from her dad's Nebraska ranch
Not to far away
And her sister taught an Indian Government school
On the Rosebud Reservation..
My brother and sister
A cousin my age and I
Shared a life similar to the life
My Billy had.
Well, not really I'm afraid
We were a few years younger
And though most of our time was spent on horseback
There were no cows involved.
We played in the White River
Rode calves and hogs
While Billy at this same age
Had himself to support.
Now it was my turn to grow up
I took up teaching to go back to the plains
And met the man of my dreams
Who my life did change.
Snowed in following a blizzard in March
And five miles away
Billy rode down the valley horseback
Just to see me one day.
By then we already had marriage plans
But we hadn’t told a soul
It wasn’t till April Fools Day
We finally broke the news.
We ranched, raised our kids
And worked at Truck Parts
Forty-seven years and 2 weeks later
God called you home.
I had truly been blessed
With a good, honest, hard working man
Who is still here for me.
I thank You God with all my heart,
Three Christmases you have been gone
For Cathy it is four, it just doesn’t seem fair
But God has taken from you the pain you had
And I will always be grateful for that.
I love you dear and Merry Christmas.