Three Years and Another Bad Cowboy Poem

It’s been three years ago today that my Dad passed away. The photo above is the last shot I have of us together. It was taken in May of 2008.

My Dad left behind a lot of questions and having those questions go unanswered, has left behind some hurt. But this morning, I remembered my Dad by making up a smoothie that he would have admired. Because, you see, he believed strongly that you should eat as many of the “superfoods” as you can daily. Unfortunately, that regimen only goes so far when you have cancer. Still, he’d start off the day with a breakfast cereal combination that included:

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Broccoli (yes, broccoli)
  • Oats and other high fiber grains
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt
  • And any other fruit laying around

Along with his breakfast concoction, Dad would have a cup of green tea. And may the saints and angels protect you if you threw out his tea bag before he’d gotten at least two cups of tea out of it!

The smoothie I had in Dad’s honor this morning was a bit different, but I squeezed in some superstuff too. It consisted of:

  • Almond milk
  • One frozen banana
  • Yogurt
  • Oats
  • Protein powder
  • Wheat germ
  • Flax
  • And pumpkin puree

I also made a cup of mango green tea out of a loose leaf tea. But I can only carry tradition so far. No way was I reusing those soggy, spent leaves. Hopefully, as I raised my glass of tea and smoothie glop, Dad saw me and appreciated the gesture of rememberance, because I really do treasure our shared breakfast moments. They were way too few and far between.

And once again, I celebrate my Dad’s life with a bit of bad cowboy poetry. When I read through the poem,  I feared my sentiments may be misunderstood. Our family has a “unique” sense of humor and ways of expressing our feelings, so I hope you’ll see it in that light.

For the Love of a Cowboy Dad

You tried to make us strong
Denied us soft, foo foo stuff
You showed us independent ways
Your talk and actions were off the cuff

I came into the family circle late 
but blood carried things nonetheless
It appears that all along
I was blessed with emotional mess

Your strong, yet tender hugs 
Made me feel so loved and safe
They contradicted your aura of tough
And made me less of a poor, rootless waif

Men have been a disappointment
Don’t love or stay long enuff
I wish you’d shown me men can be different
It wouldn’t have made you a powder puff

Don’t mean to say I don’t love you
Or be verbally rough
Just wish you’d picked your children
To believe in and treat other than gruff

Yeah, sure, I miss you, 
I muttered to the air
Whatever our family was and is
It can only be described as rare

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  1. What a wonderful memory of your dad! Your smoothie may become a new tradition for you on this day. I really enjoyed your poem.

  2. “Cheers to you Maery!” That breakfast would probably kill me, but you know my texture issues:-) You’re right, your relationship with your dad was complicated and a unique situation, but the love you feel for him always comes pushing through the dust. I think he also gave you grit and that is a mighty important quality when trying to navigate life. Nice job:-)

  3. You remind me of the tiny brave green things poking out of the devastated ground under the power lines– even now! Sometimes I think families are just to make us love people *in spite of* things. Good post.

  4. My heart breaks for you as you celebrate in your own way this third anniversary of your dad’s passing.

    This smoothie of yours seems to pack quite a bit of energy 🙂

  5. A beautiful poem that captures both the love and the “rough”.

    I’m a smoothie fan too but your dad’s might have killed me 🙂

  6. Jill – Yes, I miss having family traditions so this would be a good place to start.

    Kathleen – I’m glad I don’t have your issues. ;D It’s funny the ways my Dad and I are alike. A tendency to create odd food combinations is one of those things.

    Sue – Once again, you got me choked up with that image of a tiny brave thing amongst the devastation. And I agree, that’s been my experience with families anyway.

    Anyes – I do get a bit carried away with my “health food” combinations.

    KB – Yes, the addition of broccoli was just not right.

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