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Donna's Journal
Letter to my brother

    Warren, I remember you still even though next year will be fifty years since you left us. Your jaw you set simply to tell the strength of your personality. A quick smile  brightened your face and the slow,  easy going,  ways of  generations of chieftain's blood all  meant so much to someone who was a child. Our days were filled with play while the quiet shadow of your being hovered about somewhere like a silent,  blocking out of the harsh hot realities to come upon us as a family. I watched you grow into a man, saw you bulldog a steer, sheer the sheep, dehorn the steers. Quietly I stood with my hands on the rungs of the bull ring while  you worked with Dad. Laughter around the kitchen table after an unusual rough event was told while we listened. Devotion and admiration remained inside our heart as strong as our same blood pulsed through it. Truly, I knew nothing about the way your own mother died when you were only eight. No wonder you felt you had to protect us.

    The rain pours upon me now while it blows  through the patio door and I remember how no words of gratitude had to be spoken to you when school was out and you were there  with a slicker big enough for all three of us. The pleasure and pride were all mine because the interested eyes of those  beautiful girls followed our every move.  If you were knowledgeable about their worship nothing in your countenance told of it. The only thing you seemed to care about was the care intrusted to you for our well being.

    Ranching was the contribution to be made by so many of our generations. It was a way to feed the nation. No theme of  preaching about what should or shouldn't be done, was told aloud.  The job was solidly there. The men each in their own way held to whatever their talent dictated to further that goal. Haying crews and workers came through and they were your tutors. Tossing a rope with the best of them the difference being you had was that easy way you did everything all the while you held a friendly grin and pleasant ways.

    You were too young and too full of life to know about evil, puny, little men who would lay traps to end your life. If I had not been so young and so naive maybe there would have been a way to hold onto you. It is true though, no one can go back.  Certainly we cannot go back into time. If I could,  I would have made myself the shadow beside you, demanding you continue to protect and guide me just so my sword would have cut through the enemies who surrounded you. First the confusion and division of staid established goals were attacked making you believe a soldier's life was more important that the job at hand. When you returned the achievements for the land had already begun to crumble and although you tried, single handedly, to continue to work it was too late and a lonely life. There were ponds to 'doze out and you did it. Fences had to be mended and no one was at the corner post to hold and help pull the wire. You couldn't sleep in the lonely house on the hill so you moved to The Strike Axe and this is where we found the remains of your life and living.

    Those that took your life must have known of what you possessed materially and well onto being a millionaire but they didn't know what they had really lost. The beauty of your spirit, the strength of ancient ways, the kindness of your character. This they lost and their poverty was great.  Warren, your Dad sacrificed what was materially left in his love for even your memory and I? I was only the witness to history. So to my grandsons, who I love as dearly, please dear God let them know the history of Warren and let Your Spirit be with them please? Let them go to the greatest, even though it is the  most difficult, in caring for people, still ranchers and keepers of the land.

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