What I Saw at an Empty Saddle Horse Ceremony

You know how sometimes you see things that you can't explain? Well, I'm going to attempt to explain what I saw at an Empty Saddle Horse Ceremony. Everybody has their own personal doctrine on such things. But me, I just call it like I see it.

This was the dreaded funeral of a young cousin, which had caused the grief of losing my little brother a few years earlier, to resurface. Both of these too-young-to-die boys were taken from us by tragic car accidents. I sat in the service under a fog of disbelief, knowing that his parents were just embarking upon the same cruel path my parents had been forced upon. Grief is a relentless and unruly power. You never know quite where it's going to jerk you around to next. Like a roped calf, you're headed in one direction and in a split second, grief has whirled you around in the other.

The instant the boy's father stood up to walk out of the sanctuary, my heart sank and shattered into a million dimensions of sorrow, rehashing those first few steps alongside my mother. I cannot begin to even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child. I watched my mother battle that path in every high, low, impossibility, victory, miraculous equilibrium and constant questioning of her own footing. It is a seemingly unachievable demand on one's life. Nevertheless, it stands in charge of every moment from then on.

The bible says in Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us in life.

When the service was over, I stood outside on the church lawn and watched the boy's father take the reins of an empty saddle horse, and this is what I saw: I saw that life is far too precious for a family and its members to ever waste a second of life being offended and divided. I sensed some sort of representation of all of our family members who had already passed away, there with us, watching what we were watching and somehow conveying this message to my heart. I saw that it was high time to return to love in any family relationship where there was less than love, because every second of our time here is expensive and indefinite. I've come to believe that a family is the most valuable thing within God's design for life on earth. We need each other way more than we know. Share this with a family member today to let them know you love them.

On my 55th birthday, September 28, 2020, we are releasing the first single from my 12 song story album. The story spans four generations of my Texas cattle ranching family, with a message to the fifth. The first single, "Cowboy Hats & Cadillacs" has been a favorite among the listeners who've had an opportunity to watch the "Songumentary" film.

"You could always tell when one of Jill's family members had passed away because all you could see was Cowboy Hats and Cadillacs"


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