It is August 13th and my summer is quickly coming to an end. This summer’s been unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I have learned a lot about myself, what I can and can’t do – and I have drawn even closer to my family. Learned that sometimes, the simplest things mean the most, and are the things you remember the clearest.

Like one of my last conversation with my PawPaw Griffin, he was telling me how proud of me he was, and this website. Mom had sent them copies of some of the recipes and the about pages Anna-Lisa and I had written. This was the end of March – I was in Oklahoma, in school and eight hours away from him. I wanted to hug him then, little did I know that the next times I hugged him, he would be confined to a hospital bed.

My PawPaw was proud of me, that I could tell the family story, the story of ranch country, of growing up knowing how to wear pearls and blue jeans. He was proud that his daughter and her three daughters knew how to make a hand on the ranch, yet still be ladies. When he was telling me this, he started crying saying he was so proud of the choices I had made, the spirit I had, and the dreams I was chasing.

The week after he told me this, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with liver cancer. Today marks the twelfth day I have lived without my PawPaw. He went to be with Jesus on August 1, 2010. He was buried the next day on the ranch, in a pine box, with services led by this children and grandchildren under a tent, in the middle of a pasture. After my daddy prayed, we listened to one of his favorite songs, “I’d like to be Texas when the Roundup in the Spring” along with hymns and bible verses. Six of his grandsons lowered the casket with ropes, and when we walked away I realized how much I had lost, and in these ensuing days since, I keep realizing more and more the loss of him.

I can no longer call him, and tell him about the latest things I am doing. He would not be around to see where Beef on a Budget went, what doors were opened and new ideas I came up with. I would never again hear his voice saying he was proud of me.

My eighty-five year old grandfather, T.L. Griffin II, the man who few really knew, the quiet cattleman from Borden County, Texas had finished his earthly race, and he was finally home. PawPaw was no longer in pain, yet a void for his wife, three children, fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren is now beginning.

The conversation we had in March keeps running through my head every time I think about this website. I want to continue to make him proud, to continue to be a beef advocate. He has left me a legacy that I am proud to live, everyday – a legacy of loving the ranching lifestyle, of raising cattle and feeding the world one beef meal at a time.

I don’t know all the reasons why you read the posts here, but I will tell you one of the many reasons I post, is because of him.

Thank you for reading, and being patient with me as I know this summer I’ve not dedicated enough time to this website, but I had so many other things on my mind. I apologize for missing posts, or writing very short ones. I hope to get my schedule and my brain back to inventing new recipes and sharing with you soon, because it is something I want to do, and need to do.

Thank you for supporting my dreams, and for eating beef – you are making my PawPaw proud just by doing that!

Have a beautiful Friday, enjoy your weekend and call those people that are important to you. You never know how much more time you have with them.

~ Amy