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The Last Giddy-Up

The Last Giddy-Up is a tale of a young farm girl spirited away by a professional rodeo cowboy. Never being far from home and not realizing what her life was to be, she entered into the relationship with dreams of excitement and travel, only to be awakened to the knowledge she had married a bitter and sadistic man.

The author weaves the reader through her childhood, experiencing an out-of-body episode when deathly ill, to twenty years of a turbulent life always hoping to redeem her cowboy. After awaking to the click of an empty cylinder on her husband's revolver, she finally comes to the conclusion she just couldn't make the marriage work. With the help of family, she escapes the physical and mental abuse, the danger and frustrations, to find her soulmate.

Hiding at her sister's home and once again threatened, she manages to make it to divorce court. After her new marriage, the extended family comes into the picture, adding more love and support to her battered soul. With that redemption, she was able to obtain the dream she had always wished for. She had hung her head for twenty years, fearing to look anyone in the eyes. Charles would place his fingers gently under her chin, raising her face to his, saying, "Look up and see the light. You are as good as anybody in this world and better than most. I want to see you smile again."

The story then takes you to the next phase, a time of joy and wonderful family relations, with gentle lovemaking and desires met far above expectations.

As Charles's retirement came near, he had been experiencing a decline in health. A move to Florida and then back north to be closer to family after his first stroke. Salem, Missouri, became our home. Having become an LPN, I worked at the local hospital in a Birthing Center, and juggled my hours to accommodate the care of six registered quarter horses, five dogs, and six cats. I needed to be able to supervise Charles's medication. Coming home one morning, I saw him lying on the ground with his hands stretched out, near a farm gate. When I called out to him, he didn't respond. My heart was in my throat. I thought I had lost him. When I dived out of my vehicle and ran to his side, he looked up and laughed. "What is the matter with you? You look excited." I was furious. That was the only time in nearly thirty-one years that I was truly angry at him.

Upon his final stroke and after being flown to Missouri Baptist Neurological Center in St. Louis, there were several red-tailed hawk sightings with spiritual purpose. Through those difficult hours, his children and myself stayed at his bedside. According to Charles's wishes, Chuck and I took his ashes to west Texas for distribution. As we threw his ashes to the wind, they seemed to glisten in the late afternoon sunlight as they were carried upward and out across the desert floor. A golden eagle flew under them seemingly to assist in the flight. We chugged down our cognac to toast a great man, a true gentleman.

--B.J. Vandeventer



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