Dad always paints up Cochese because their neighbors have a big 4th of July party... & its just tradition now that there's a horse painted in Red, White & Blue.
& last year, they had dad come over & bring Cochese & do his tricks for all the kids.
It was a hit - as you can imagine. I mean, who doesnt love a horse that does tricks, but also makes you want to stand & salute as he's doing it.
Dad was totally in his element. Meeting new people, talking to people about horses, having kids come up to pet his horse.... I didnt think he was ever going to go home.
But mom had text me & told me that the grill was getting hot & to get dad back home to put our dinner on .... & we set off.
& while we were walking home, we looked up & there it was. A rainbow.
Not one drop of rain had fallen. It didnt even look like it was a chance of rain... but there it was.
& I am so glad I had my camera. It's come to be my most favorite picture I've ever taken in my life time.
There were some kids on the side wanting to say goodbye to Cochese & I yelled at them to step back a second.... no one knew why I yelled that - I think they thought I was concerned about a few hundred pound creature walking down the drive.... but I knew the picture I wanted to capture.
Dad didnt even know I took this till I got home & uploaded it.
He loved it as much as I did. He blew it up & printed it out & had it in his kitchen.... & he told me when he printed it, "Beck...." (he always spelled my name with a K when he said Beck) ... "When I die, I want this picture right next to me in my casket - Ok?"....
I didnt know it would be less than a year that I would have to do just what he requested.....
& this picture breaks my heart & brings me peace all at once....
I know my dad loved his last few years of his life living in his new home with his horse close by & living his "country life" that he always wanted - knowing everyone in town & meeting them in local stores & sitting at ponds & talking to neighbors & being so close to his kids & grandkids... it was just what he envisioned for his retired life
Ricky has said while we've been at dad's house, "It just makes me so sad he's not here to enjoy this anymore"... & I just said back to him, "I'm just glad he was able to love it while he did"....
Some is better than none, isn't it? & some people never get to live their dream for a day, much less a few years.
& mercy me... how I wish he could still be here enjoying it too. I'd give anything to be photographing & filming another year of horse tricks for the neighbors.... what I'd give....
(The warming up before the big show)