Each day I looked for another email from Aunt Daisy wondering how she, Pepe, and Marisol were doing. I know sub zero temps and deep snow are covering the North Country and Aunt Daisy’s farm.
Then ping! An email.
Hello Sylvia Honey,
The cold and snow are finally, after 84 years, gittin’ to these old cowgirl bones but there is a ray o’ sunshine. At first, reachin’ Marisol was as tough as makin’ stew out o’ shoe leather. I been usin’ three of the Cowgirl Rules and they’ve made a change:
I always wondered how Aunt Daisy could have such understanding and love of people.
– Show courage.
– Never go back on your word.
— Be a trailblazer.
I keep the Rules on my fridge door, handy like.
Marisol likes goin’ to the local school where Pepe and I enrolled her and that gives us all a break from each other. Her teachers say she’s shy but is finally startin’ to talk to them and the other students. The record from Marisol’s old school showed all A’s and B’s so she’s smart and particular in “Art” where she got all A+’s. I took her to buy supplies and she bought a sketchbook, paints and pencils. When she’s not doin’ homework, she’s sketchin’ in that book and smilin’. Wonder what she’s drawin’. I even saw her on the rockin’ chair huggin’ and singin’ to that stuffed panda.
Saturday mornin’ she came down to the kitchen, the studs were out of her piercins’. She said, “Can we make biscuits together?” I finally caught a bitty glimpse of Anne of Green Gables in Marisol.
Was I pleased! “Sure!” I said smilin’. We made them light as feathers and real tasty with lots o’ butter. Pepe was lookin’ like a proud Daddy and did my heart feel good! I wonder if Marisol has been peekin’ at the Cowgirl Rules I stuck on the fridge.
I wrote back:
Dear Aunt Daisy,
I think it was your courage and heart that got through to Marisol. How do you always keep your spirits up?
She wrote back:
Sometimes I think I’m a foolish old woman. But my tryin’ to get to Marisol comes from a deep hurt place in me. I’m goin’ to tell you my story and then you’ll understand.
When I was eighteen and on the rodeo circuit, I was in love with Billy who was seventeen. I always did like younger men. Together we had more sparkle than all the stars in the night sky. When we made love, Mt. Vesuvius seemed like a campfire. We found out we were goin’ to be ma and pa to a baby and we were happy as two butterflies on a sunny mornin’.
But that was the last time I was ever truly happy. In one week, I lost the baby girl while givin’ birth and lost Billy when he was thrown from a bronco and broke his neck. He never did get to see his baby girl. I been searchin’ for another Billy since and come close couple ‘o times, but then the sun came up and it wasn’t Billy next to me. Life has been a hard ride.
I always wondered how Aunt Daisy could have such understanding and love of people – to loose everything she loved and still live a life of courage and kindness.