Friday, February 10, 2012
Many of us have a place we call 'Home'..... or a 'Home away for Home'. We have a home, no matter how far away in the miles...we are never far away from in our hearts. Chris and I have only been married 10 years, but about 8 of the 10 years we have lived around the Pawhuska area.... got married on a ranch there, had kids around there, grew as a couple there, started our own cow herd there, and most importantly raised our children on some of the best ranches there. Although we are an hour away, it just seems right to still call it our 'home'.
This week we will take our children back home with us and expose them to a new memory in life. A funeral. As parents we have decided in the past that they were not quite old enough to understand the reason or the meaning of a funeral, but we now feel in our hearts it is time to teach them how to show respect for someone that was very important in their childhood.
Their spurs jangled as they all left the church.... the tears rolled down many faces. Days like this... are the days you see rough Cowboys cry!
How Cowboys say there "Goodbyes"
On horseback. They rode down the hill behind Ree and Ladd Drummond's House, escorting the family down the ranch road that leads to their family cemetery, where Tom was to be buried. Not just family is buried there..... along with a few family members... you will find a couple of their Life Long Cowboys laid to rest. The same cowboys were the pallbearers at the funeral service, and filled up the first two rows of the church with starched shirts and vests, boots, and their best jeans.
Their spurs jangled in unison as they departed the sanctuary..... the tears rolled down many faces. Days like this... are the days you see rough Cowboys cry!
Tom Drummond is someone that our family will never forget. His gravel voice mixed with his soft heart always had the kids second guessing whether they were in the wrong or in the right...
I always remembered people talking about Tom and how hard he was to get along with... With that in mind the first day I went to day work with Chris over there I was just a little nervous. Without a lot to say (ya, can you imagine that) I found myself a job counting cattle off the scale all day long, with Tom over seeing me from the scale house. Before I knew it he was asking about the kids and life in general..... That day Tom made a joke towards me and with out thinking I dished it right back to him, from there on out we had a lot of fun. Chris often said people just didn't know how to take him.
Chris learned a lot while working for Tom, most importantly he learned how to stand up for himself and his ideas all while respecting his boss. They didn't always see eye to eye, but not everybody does. Over time Tom gained a world of respect or Chris, as Chris did the same for him. Almost everyday Chris went to work he had one if not both of the kids (at this time I worked part time in town). For some reason or the other if the kids were not with us..... Tom was the first to ask where they were. There never was a question when it was work time or family time, Tom believed the little ones needed to be out there learning how to work. Our kids learned many lessons on his ranch and will have memories and stories to remember for the rest of their lives.
He wasn't just a boss.... not sure how to explain it, but he was there for Chris to grow. Not sure if it was on purpose or not but he was there to teach, help make mistakes, help on how to run an outfit............And I wont ever forget the day he sat us down to lend advise on our own first big cattle deal. That day he told us he was proud of us! That meant the world to two young scared kids that were fixing to drop their entire life savings into a load of cattle.... He checked on the deal all summer long, up until the day we sold the cattle.
We rodeod really hard for 2 years under the name Sweetwater Cattle Company and Tom Drummond Ranches, we did this with pride at every rodeo... not just the big ones, but all of them. Tom made the trip to Amarillo the year they guys won the WRCA World Championship, he set proud in the grand stands as our guys cleaned house and set arena records. He left Sunday afternoon before they announced the winners, but I promise you he was on the phone with in minutes to tell Chris how proud he was of them and good job. He hosted a Christmas/Congrats party shortly after we all got back. It was a great time with good friends and day workers of the ranch!
Chris and the crew at the party!
We have now moved on in life, and so has Tom.... He is someone that will never be forgotten and we will always be thankful to him for letting us start the foundation of our lives and our childrens lives on his ranch. Our kids will always remember that gruffy voice, all the hot diet coke, and donuts!