As soon as I left the funeral I drove up the steep, muddy rural roads to the farm to check on the herd and see if Violet, my first calf heifer named after my dear friend, was any closer to having the calf we all eagerly awaited for.
As I drove, I thought of my very religious friend Violet and how she had worked as an executive secretary for three cardinals in the arch diosese of New York and adored all the Vatican Popes in her life time. Rosary beads were always in her hands 24/7. Violet always prayed for me, and my herd, when we needed it..and even when it wasn't apparent ( to me ) that we even needed some spiritual assistance.
As I came down the last hill, I could clearly see a cow with afterbirth dragging behind her in the mud. I jumped out of my truck and raced thru the barn and out the back door into the barnyard--still wearing my dress up funeral clothes--and here is what I found:
My friend Violet had asked me to name her namesake cow's calf, if it was a girl--Viola after one of her favorite flowers. She could not think of a boys name and when I jokenly suggested we name a boy "The Pontiff," she laughed. We giggled like school girls over the name suggestion.
Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever hear my friend Violet's voice, or her sweet laughter, ever again.
As I looked down on this newly born calf in the middle of the muddy river around him and his young mom tenderly nudging him to get up and move out of this quagmire, I knew exactly what his name would be.
Every time I said his name, I heard the sweet laughter of my dear departed friend again and again.