Go Annabelle…

Dad always called me Annabelle. 

anneanddadfish

Three decades ago…

Although I am unsure of exactly when he coined the term, he was loyal in its use.  Whether it was spoken quietly near a favorite fishing hole, or hollered loudly from the crowd when I prepared to burst out of the starting blocks:  there was both comfort and love intertwined with the name.

Anne Starting Block Swimming

Go Annabelle!

It became a bit of a joke amongst my teammates because Dad’s booming voice yelling Go Annabelle on the swimming deck was well known.  There were likely a few times during my early high school years when it brought on a touch of embarrassment; however, those words are a mantra that I still carry with me today.

Finding my way...

Finding my way…

The path that I chose for my professional adult life has not been an easy one.  When I entered the world of cattle feeding as a 22 year old, there were very few young women following the same path.  Additionally, I was an outsider coming into a new culture with a different life perspective.  It seemed, at times, that I was truly speaking a different language than my fellow cattlemen.

Add in the physical and mental challenges of learning to care for large food animals, and the combination became a bit daunting.  There were days when my dad’s magic words kept me going as I whispered Go Annabelle under my breath.  As I said it, I would think of my dad and the stubborn tenacity that marked his personality.

While I still have a long way to go in my journey, I believe that I have begun to make my mark...

While I still have a long way to go in my journey, I believe that I have begun to make my mark…

My dad was an inherent believer.  The words quitting or failure never entered his radar screen.  His life was marked by conscientiously moving forward with quiet confidence.  In many ways, he was a purest with a steadfast commitment to striving for what he believed was right.

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To him, life was not a popularity contest—rather the chance to work for positive change.

Although my dad’s time on earth is through, the words Go Annabelle will endure.  They live on in my heart and will continue to inspire me as I make my own journey through life.

Grilling and serving what I work hard to grow...

Grilling and serving what I grew for him…

I look forward to continuing to feel the warmth of that signature smile that always lit up his face when I made him proud.

8 Comments

Filed under Family, General

8 responses to “Go Annabelle…

  1. Hi Anne. I enjoyed your description of your transition into the cattle world. It’s always an encouragement to read and feel my reflection in the words of other cattlewomen who came to it later in life, too. How encouraging, too, for you to have your dad’s words with you always. That’s what I love about memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed it, Emily Grace! My journey into the world of cattle feeding has been an eclectic learning experience. I imagine that you have an interesting story to tell as well :)

      Yes, memories are to be cherished. They guide us when we might otherwise get lost in the weeds…

      All the best,
      Anne

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad but glad you have so many good memories to love and tell to your children. I lost my Dad many years ago but sometimes the smallest thing brings a memory so clear like it just happened yesterday, that brings a smile and nice warm feeling, sometimes a tear. I know your Dad must have been very proud to call you his daughter.

    • Thank you so much, Ellie. I hope that I made him proud :)

      Yes, I can certainly empathize with your sentiments regarding memories and I cherish the ones that I have. This next week will be challenging as we travel back to Florida to celebrate Dad’s life. It is my hope that the good memories will carry me through the sad times.

      It is good to hear from you. Thank you for your support.

      Anne

  3. Beautiful memories of your Dad, Anne! He sounds like a wonderful and inspiring person. You had a great mentor to teach you and lean on.

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    • Thank you, Robyn. I saw your mom Thursday at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s convention and she gave me a wonderful hug. It made my day.

      It is my hope that I can be as good a mentor for others as my dad was for me. Both of my parents have lived their lives mentoring youth in a diversity of ways—they have served as a great inspiration for me in my adult life.

      Thank you for your prayers. I hope that this winter weather finds you all well and safe.

      Anne

  4. Anne, I am so sorry about your Dad’s passing. He sounds like such a great guy. Thinking of you and your family.
    Jody

    • Thank you, Jody. I appreciate it! We are headed home now to attend the Memorial Service tomorrow. It will be a hard day, but hopefully will bring some closure to a very difficult fall.

      Thank you for the support,
      Anne

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