Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art imitates life..


..in the most beautiful way..


My brother Larry, who amidst his battles with chemo and radiation, has always remained first and foremost and husband and a father.

The quintessential "big brother" to all of us Sullivan Sisters..Grandpa to a whole herd of little ones..and not so little ones...

But throughout his life...what he is..what he remains, is a cowboy.


And while the medicines and treatment leave him somewhat unsteady on his legs..he spends time daily with his horses.

No longer allowed to ride, he now works them with voice commands. Speaking firmly but with respect and admiration, he commands the round pen.


The horses react to his voice and also his hand commands..."stop..back..turn.."


And, when I saw the photo at the top of the post, and after seeing the painting a friend painted of him..well..it's as if he stood and posed... {which I am most certain he did not...never stands still enough or idle enough for paint to dry}

When we think about cowboys, we may think of dirt and dust and a lack of formal education.

Not so in Larry's case. He may get dirty and dusty, but I can honestly say I have never seen that side of him.

Always dressed in his boots and sharp jeans and pressed shirts, he could have come off the pages of American Cowboy..and don't forget the hat...whether in Chicago, Stroketown or Tucson, he rides tall in the saddle. With his 6' 2" frame, boots and hat, he's a fine site for certain.

Recently retired from the University of Arizona, then on to substitute in the kindergarten of his small community of Arivaca, he has traveled the world, loves to read, is proud to be Irish, makes a mean corned beef and cabbage, an ex-Marine (is there such a thing ? Once a Marine, always a Marine..Semper Fi ...{.Always Faithful} ..) and is the pillar of strength of our family. He loves good wine, good cheese, good Mexican food and his good life...

His quick Irish humor is only second to his great story telling. He can have us mesmerized one minute and laughing and slapping his back the next.

So while they have told him he can no longer drive his pick-up, they said nothing about the tractor...on the 4th of July parade..down the main street in Arivaca..pulling all his adorable grandkiddos..and followed by the "mighty Tomato"..a horse growing old right beside Larry...





And personally, I think all that "spit and vinegar" is just what the Doctor ordered...


"We ride and never worry about the fall I guess that's just the cowboy in us all..." Performed by Tim McGraw.

Larry, just keep ridin' this good, sweet life..we love you. We do.

-us

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sure love this! He is still in my prayers and thoughts along with your sister AND YOU! (and of course Randy, Evelyn and the pups) Love you C, sacha

Lori R. said...

I want a big brother just like that! Mine passed away when he was 23. Too young! So I always had to be the oldest....Continued prayers for your family. Love the pics....

wendy said...

What a beautiful post..I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Jan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother!

The Texas Woman said...

What a great post about a beautiful man by a loving sister! Ya know, I've never met a cowboy I didn't love but your brother sounds extra special. Maybe it's the chemo bond we share. Holding you all in my heart.

cher

Pen Pen said...

Now, I love Larry too!!! What a sweet post!

Life is good! said...

love this post and the picture painting of your brother! he looks like an amazing brother. i hope all works out well for the cowboy!

June said...

Your tribute to your brother brought tears to my eyes. What a great man! And what a wonderful sister he has!

It's such a gift to be able to say to those we love: THIS is what you have given us. THIS is what we love about you. He is a fortunate man to know how and how much he is loved.

Lindsay Bunker said...

What a beautiful post colleen! You have such a big heart and I am so happy to see it everyday at work. I feel as though I love your family also, even though I have never met them. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. . . <3

Irish Cottage Dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irish Cottage Dreams said...

What a lovely post. My healing
thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Larry must be a remarkable brother
and a really neat cowboy... gotta love cowboys!
You are both lucky to have eachother.

my love and hugs~kimme

white o'morn cottage said...

Beautiful...What a man,you paint such a wonderful word picture and the painting is just magic. LOve and hugs to Larry and You...Pam and Paul

All My Yesterdays said...

Thanks Grammie for reminding us what family really is. You're pretty special too...
Love to you and yours.

Vicki

Sweet Repose said...

This is proof of how valuable life is to us, to savor every moment in the now, just knowing that for any of us each day could be our last.

I think Larry knows that and has accepted it well, as it sounds like his family has too.

Best of luck Colleen, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Sharon

Launi said...

This just made me cry. Wow. What a good sister you are. He sounds like a fabulous man. We need more of those around.

madrekarin said...

He is such a hero.