She will never forget losing her mother to complications in surgery, on a Memorial Day weekend. And she will never forget watching her father slowly succumb to the darkness of Alzheimer's, a few years later. She can never forget not being able to say good-bye to either of her parents in their last days.
The ranch is silent now, a shadow of its former self, aging but solid as the prairie winds blow around the house, the tractor, the sheds and the corral. But I, a stranger to this land, can hear upon the wind their whispers, the souls of a rancher and his wife, telling her to keep on remembering where she came from, who she is, and what she is made of.
She is a country girl, a rancher's daughter to her very core. She is from the very heart of this land. She is America the Heartland.
To all of those remembering their mother and father this Memorial Day weekend, God Bless You. And to my good friend Jayne, I am truly blessed by all that my visit to your hometown, and you, gave me that day. Thank you, thank you.