I'd be lying if I said I'm not singing the lyrics to this song in my head.. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking of how fitting it truly is. I may have rode away from the sport and have my fair share of regrets and the "left unsaids". The miles on the road gave me memories and the years through all of the ranks gave me the greatest friendships to last a lifetime.
I won a few buckles and a good bit of money in my day. The only trophy saddle I have sitting on a stand is from winning Junior Rodeo Queen, but from the view I'm looking at as an adult I have so much more than that to show.. Because of those years on the road, miles traveled and weekend after weekend doing the sport I love, this is what I won.
I won a true friend - a sister, an aunt to my son, a confident, and a niece. Our friendship is far from ordinary and requires dedication, love and commitment. With 1,086 miles between the two places we now call home we rely on FaceTime, Snapchat, Text, Calls and Social Media. Our visits are never nearly long enough, we always leave the other with tears and countdown the days until our next short time together.
Years ago our parents gave selflessly to us and our siblings. They hauled us up and down the rodeo trail to compete with the best of the south. They taught us about hard work, loyalty and sacrifice. They gave us experiences and opportunities, tough love and encouragement. Most importantly, they gave two little girls each other.
With littles of our own now, it is our turn to pay it forward. From Georgia to Oklahoma, our hearts beat the same beat. The desires and future we'd like to give our children have been talked about for days on end. Even though we will not have the luxury of competing together, I look forward to the phone calls hauling down the road and the many videoed runs we will send back and forth when the time comes.
Hayes and I flew in from Dallas Saturday night. As I text Kelsey to let her know we were back in Georgia safely, I couldn't find the words to explain how my heart felt upon our return from Stephenville. While I do not feel like my words are adequate enough I can say this..
I'd like to say thank you. You gave me more than a title to my name.