My mom took this picture last summer. She sent it to me in a text message that said “Is this the end of your rainbow?” and oh, it was! It is! I have always dreamed of building my own home on the family “compound." The end of that rainbow was the place where we got married in 2010 and after much persuasion, my grandfather agreed to give us those few acres to build on. Days, weeks, and months went into the planning and execution of our dream and in the late summer we were nearing the closing date on the sale of our old home. We had carefully designed every detail and had our plans drawn. Dreams were coming true!
Papa, again, pulled through and helped me land a nice place to live that would be convenient and cost-effective. We would be renting from my aunt on the family property and living in a little white farmhouse built by my great, great-grandparents in the early 1900’s, while we built our home. He was born in the house and it held a special place in his heart and it holds so many childhood memories for me. I spent many days with him on this old home-place, doing chores on the farm for his mother, counting his cows in his orange Chevy, working with my pony, and cooling off in the pool.
Just a few days before our scheduled closing and the impending move, Papa became seriously ill after a routine surgery and very suddenly passed away. I realize that I have been blessed to, at 29 years old, have never lost a grandparent. That certainly doesn’t lessen the sting of grief and heartache that followed. Papa was a father figure and one of the most prominent influences in my life. He was larger than life, a legend, not only in the police and professional world, but to his family. In one of the last conversations that we had, he told me to “keep after it, Bulldog.” He always had a chuckle at my expense when I encountered a problem and continued on in my hard-headed way. And even when my stubbornness got me into a difficult situation, I knew that he was proud of me.
So here we are, five months later. Many “bulldog” moments later. Countless tears later. Settling into a new life without him. Learning to look toward the future even on the days when the past seems so much more appealing. Boom! I finally get the call from the bank. The construction loan will close this week. I ran as fast as I could to sign the papers.
Yesterday, I drove over to the courthouse and got the building permit and late last night we hastily posted our permit box and flagged our proposed driveway. Progress! At last! We celebrated with dinner at the local Mexican restaurant and went to bed like it was Christmas Eve. This has been a big week for my family and we are eager to start something fresh and beautiful. We can’t wait to build our farmhouse at the end of that rainbow. I know that I have an angel who will cheer us on, maybe shake his head a little bit, but he will forever be a part of this home.