I just learned about "cowboy up" from Uncle Ron. We recently attended the funeral of my husband's Aunt Darlene Randall. I felt like I had stepped back in time seven decades or so. She was a true cowgirl...the real deal. It was an honor to learn more about her and the love she and her husband Ron had for each other (highschool sweethearts), as they ran the local service station, Ron's Service. It was exciting to learn about her accordion playing, horseback riding, 4th of July Parade planning, pushing to make the local all-male horseback association accept women, tap dancing with the Dancing Grannies and more.
It was exciting to remember that Ron is the oldest chariot racer in Utah. He has been named the Utah High Point Man several times in his horse-racing career and in 1989 won an award for being the Most Distinguished Utah Horseman.
After the special funeral her casket was carried to the cemetery on a beautiful wooden horsedrawn carriage, pulled by
Later in life her memory left her for most things, but she remembered how to dance with Ron at the Golden Years Center, and she remembered her love of ice cream. Her devoted husband, Ron, remained her caretaker for the six final years when her Alzheimer's was really bad taking her for long drives, out for ice cream every day, dancing twice a week, and feeding and bathing her near the end. He took her to church until she got too figety and then he'd take her home. Their daugher, Jackie, was also a big help. At the funeral someone said to Ron, "You worked so hard taking care of Darlene". He simply replied, "Naw, I didn't work hard. I just learned a lot, like how to give her baths and things like that. It was fun."
Just before they closed the casket the immediate family all hugged each other and wept. One son, who was going to speak at the funeral, gave his dad a long emotional bear hug. Suddenly he gave a boistrous laugh. He told everyone that he'd just told his dad he didn't know how he could speak. His dad simply said, "Cowboy Up!"
Later, Ron offered the prayer at her gravesite to dedicate it. He said to everyone, "It's going to be hard without Darlene around. I'll just have to cowboy up." That was that.