What’s that Big Hole?

Oh, yeah.  It’s where my dad used to be.

I woke up sobbing this morning.  Really the first big blow-out of emotion since Dad’s passing.  I kept thinking about Roger.

One of my dad’s best friends, Vern Landon, also died recently.  Vern and Dad went to high school together, farmed near each other.  Mom and Dad, Vern and Helen travelled all over the world on group trips when they retired.  Needless to say, Dad and Vern were close.

Yesterday at the gravesite, I heard someone crying behind me.  I turned around and a man my age reminded me who he was.  “Roger Landon,” he said.  I grabbed him up immediately, and we held each other while we cried.  I hadn’t seen Roger in 30 years, at least, but all the times he and his dad helped with baling hay, or working with the livestock, or picking corn rushed back.

In the spring of 1973, Mom, Dad, Vern and Helen took a trip to Las Vegas.  My grandma and I were alone on the farm when a huge snowstorm hit, cutting power and blocking all the roads.  Our cattle were starting to calve, and Granny was in a panic.  That’s when Roger showed up on his snowmobile and helped us get the cows and the calves safe.  He was my hero, and I had a crush on him from that day forward.

Standing at my dad’s grave with the October wind whipping around the sheltering tent, I knew Roger wept for his own dad as I wept for mine.  We shared so much history, and now we shared our grief.  He disappeared into the crowd after that—the rest of the family didn’t have a chance to talk to him.  I’m grateful that my girlhood hero made himself known to me and shared his heart.  It’s a gift I’ll cherish from a day filled with magic.

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