Our next feature is Vixen Wrecks, the mother of last year’s Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon. She discusses how the year bonding with her daughter, traveling throughout Oregon is one she wouldn’t trade for anything. She speaks of the lessons she learned and the message of loving yourself enough to love others speak volumes to those mom and daughter duos out there conquering the rodeo road!
As many of you know my daughter was the 2015 Junior Miss R0deo Oregon. Being a mom to an outspoken, driven young lady is nothing new for me as she was four when she started her journey with her first title. I have hung on ever since and will continue to do so as she has the rodeo title time line for her life and I guess that makes for mine too!
Spending the year with my daughter traveling over 30,000 miles to coronations, rodeos, speaking events, and more was a time in our lives we will never get back and we bonded more than words could ever explain. But the one thing that bonded and changed both our lives more than anything was a fateful July rodeo.
We had been on the road for 17 days straight from June to July through the Cowboy Christmas weekend of the fourth and spent many nights in the horse trailer. We had family come visit us while at Tillamook, a Northwest Professional Rodeo Association rodeo where we got to spend some time at the beach. Then we had a surprise visit from my husband for our anniversary while we were at the Molalla rodeo. We had come home to wash clothes and repack and let her ol’mare Music rest some, for just a few days. We then loaded up and headed to The Dalles for their last rodeo, we had gotten to LaGrande (1.5 hours from home) and realized we forgot her sashes. We had my mom save the day by going to our house and then meeting us in the middle so we didn’t have to drive all the way back. Making it to The Dalles late, we decided to settle her horse in and go to the movies. We went and saw “Inside Out” and while we were in that movie I got a text that changed my life.
My best friend (a mother of two boys the same age as my kids) had been in a horse accident and was being life flighted out of our home town to the Tri-Cities. The next morning I found out she was not going to make it and if I wanted to say “good bye” I needed to get there. I woke Dez up and left horse and trailer in The Dalles at a friend’s place where we were staying. In that moment, knowing I was losing my best friend, and her boys were losing their mother, and her husband was losing his best friend and the love of his life ~ I looked into the eyes of my little girl and realized that life would never be the same.
I embrace those moments that you will never get and never miss that chance to hug the one you love or say you love someone or say you are sorry. I talked to my best friend that day we left 3 times and we laughed about me forgetting stuff and how when I got back she wanted to have dinner with me and we made a date! I never got that dinner but when I sit down at night with my loved ones, I know that each dinner with them is special not because it is Christmas or a birthday, but because they are alive and in my life.
They are a blessing that I thank God for each and every day. So my gift in life was my two kids and my lesson is that you can’t take back things you say or do, but you can ask for forgiveness and you can learn and you can be the person that God wants us to be by being true and loving others, forgiving them when you need to and loving yourself enough to love others.