The Isaac I Know
I've been wanting to do a post just about Isaac. Some people that follow my blog only know Isaac and some only know me. Some knew us earlier in life and didn't know us as a couple. So I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to my Isaac.
The first time I met Isaac I was shocked to hear the voice that came out of his body. I had expected to hear a Mexican accent or no accent but instead he had a West Texas accent. I thought he was definitely one of a kind and seemed like a really fun guy. When we went on our first date, I didn't know it was a date until he showed up. He looked pretty nice and his car was clean so that's when I knew he had romantic intentions! Now, having been married to him I can tell you that his car was never as clean as it was on that first date! Ha!
Isaac loved to laugh. His favorite show was "The Office," and he would watch it all the time. Sometimes I would know when he was stressed out because I would see that he had been watching "The Office" during his lunch break. Often he would beg me to watch something with him because he wanted to hear me laugh. I never heard Isaac laugh more than when he was with his family. Sometimes I didn't even know what was being said because it was in Spanish, but Isaac would light up when he was surrounded by all of his loved ones. I'd never seen anything like that before. It was like he had this sense of completion when all of his loved ones were nearby.
Isaac was old fashioned. He was almost 4 years younger than me but he had a lot of friends over 60. He really loved "The Greatest Generation." He would talk about them all the time. At one time he had three friends with cancer. I guess that's what happens when your friends are all 35 years or more older than you! He loved talking to my grandpa. He loved the cowboy life. He wanted a simple life and was obsessed with things being made by hand and/or in the USA. He also loved the USA and would often chant, "U.S.A.! U.S.A!" On the fourth of July he always bought fireworks. One year, he made us all sing the song, "God Bless the USA."
Isaac loved horses. He might have been a little obsessed. Anytime Isaac used my phone or computer, I could always count on finding a bunch of webpages about horses. He also loved cows. Since he was always working with animals he would come home and stink. Whenever I said something about the smell, he would say, "That's the smell of money." Right... For the first couple years of our marriage, I would sometimes be Isaac's assistant when he was working with the horses. It was interesting to watch him work with the horses. Isaac had a gentle way with horses. He wasn't a horse whisperer or anything, but he respected horses. He never liked to get rough. He watched a lot of horse training videos. He tried various techniques, all of them aimed at training the horse so that the horse would respond to gentle commands and prodding. I would sometimes watch some of his horse videos with him and get ideas about parenting from them. I'm such a therapist!
Isaac loved to eat with people. He loved inviting people over to eat fajitas. He also loved volunteering me to make dinner for people, which I didn't mind because I love to cook and socialize as well. He loved when people stopped by without being invited. He wanted people to feel comfortable coming by and he wanted to have a home to which people gravitated. Isaac valued true friends.
Speaking of food, Isaac's favorite snack was salt and vinegar chips and a Dr. Pepper. Whenever Wyatt sees Dr. Pepper, he asks, "Daddy's drink?" Ha! Isaac loved Mexican food, or what the Mexicans like to call "food." He loved Chicken Fried Steak. His favorite cake was German Chocolate Cake. One time he asked me to teach him how to make cinnamon rolls so that he could take them to the guys at the feedlot. He wasn't huge on sweets but I would often make cookies or brownies. When I was nursing Rose I remember Isaac asking for a brownie one time and I told him they were gone. He got mad that I ate them all. Whoops! My bad.
Isaac was a hopeless romantic...some of the time. When we first dated, I remember that he didn't sleep much and he'd write me cute notes and bring flowers. I think he also lost his appetite because he got pretty skinny. I remember the first time we kissed. I thought he was about to have a heart attack! His heart started beating so fast! It was cute and scary all at the same time! One time we went hunting with his family and he wrote with mud, "Reb, I love you," on his chest. He was pretty proud! The longer we were married, he didn't write as many notes or buy as many flowers but he still had this romanticism about him. When we were apart he would always tell his friends that he missed his "old lady." Although we really didn't spend much time apart, when we did I worried about him. I once had to leave him for almost a week to be a leader at a church camp for teenage girls. When I got back in town I found the ice cream in the fridge (This was not the only time this occurred while I was gone). Another time I left town to see my brother and my mom. Isaac didn't want me to go for as long as I wanted to go and he told me, "I didn't marry you so that I could be away from you." Good point. Isaac loved having his own family. He loved being a father and a husband. I remember Isaac telling me about this guy he met somewhere. The guy asked if Isaac was married. Isaac told him yes. The man then replied, "I'm sorry." Isaac answered back, "Why? I love being married. These have been the best two years of my life." Isaac told me that the man was pretty surprised by his answer.
Isaac never liked to talk bad about people. He'd always be the first person to cut off the conversation when it started to get gossipy. He'd also always be the first to defend someone who maybe didn't deserve to be defended. He forgave easily. When he had trouble forgiving something in the past, he'd always tell me, "Let's not talk about this because I don't want to get upset about it." Every now and then, Isaac would get this smile and he'd bring up something he saw on Facebook. He'd wait for us to respond, and when the rest of us would start to gossip, then he'd ask us to stop. It was like a funny game to bait us with gossip! But that's Isaac. He loved to tease.
At home, Isaac loved to relax with his family. He loved to attack me and tickle me and get the kids on board. The kids loved it and I hated it. Even when I tried to turn it on Isaac, I always lost. Apparently, tickling mom is more fun than tickling dad. Isaac always loved to challenge me to a soccer game. He always claimed he was helping me practice for my soccer team but I could never be serious when we played. I don't know why, but I couldn't help but laugh when we would play together. I lost most of the time as a result.
Isaac was a supportive husband. When I played soccer he always wanted to bring the kids along and watch me play rather than watch the kids at home. He was supportive of my work. About six months before he died, I told him that I wanted to get my doctorate and he was excited and told me to do it. I wasn't ready then but I loved how Isaac always supported my passions and hobbies.
Isaac was an artist. Before he died, he had just turned his hobby of leatherwork into a business. He also had started to learn to make buckles and spurs. Isaac was so talented. He was a perfectionist when it came this type of work. He was constantly remaking patterns for the leggings he made. He wanted the fit to be just right. Anytime he tried something new, it looked like it had been done by someone who had been doing it for a while. He would be upset about the one or two flaws but for a first time, it was amazing! After he died, I found a bunch of his drawings or paintings. I remember telling him that he was an artist and he'd brush it off like I was just being a nice wife. I'm nice, but I wouldn't lie to make him feel good. I think that by the end of his life he started to believe that he really had some serious talent and could make money from his leatherwork. He was so excited when he got his leather sewing machine. He wanted to eventually learn how to make saddles.
Isaac was humble. Isaac never bragged. He always tried to hang out in the background. He didn't want to call attention to himself. He never thought that he was too good for anyone. He was friends with a lot of different kinds of people. He didn't care about your race, unless you were black and then he wanted to be your friend because he always felt sad that no black people wanted to be his friend. He didn't care about your sexual orientation. He didn't care if you were educated or rich. He didn't care about your religion or lack of religion. He didn't care if you were on drugs. Isaac cared about YOU. He would appreciate the good things about you. Whatever you were lacking, he either overlooked or he would honestly tell you that you needed to change. He didn't give advice to be prideful or impose his beliefs on another person. He only gave advice when he sincerely believed those changes would make his friend happier.
Now, Isaac wasn't perfect. He was a procrastinator. He could get HANGRY. He had a little temper, but he was one of the best men I've ever known. I'm so grateful that he chose me to be his wife. I'm so proud that he is the man my children call, "Daddy." I'm so sad that he is gone but I hope that the memory of him helps all of us to love deeper and more freely.