At 7:06am I hear the clanking of heavy machinery outside my loft balcony and I know construction has begun.
When I hear the “beep, beep, beep” of bulldozers, I think of my ex-boyfriend Monte.
Monte was a construction foreman and a cattle rancher, but it was construction that gave him a steady paycheck and health insurance. He would get up at the crack of dawn and leave the house by 5:30am to be on the job site by 6:30am before his crew arrived.
I used to visit him for lunch and bring him a foot-long Subway sandwich and a giant ice tea with 4 sugar packets.
We’d pop open the hatchback of my SUV for a place to sit, eat our sandwiches, and talk about the morning. By 12:30pm, I’d worked with one coaching client for 2 hours while Monte had been running a crew of 20 guys for six hours.
Monte has an incredible work ethic. He can operate any piece of machinery and he’d often jump in the backhoe because he can do the job twice as efficiently compared to the guy driving it. He’d go full steam until 6pm, pick me up at the ranch, and we’d go eat sushi that he’d eat with a fork instead of chopsticks.
I know we weren’t meant to be together forever but I still think about him. I miss the way he used to ask me if I’d rather be in the mountains or the mall. He’d smile when I said “mountains,” and kiss me approvingly.
We used to watch my favorite show, Heartland, and after the first episode, he was hooked. He loves horses as much as I do. When we watched the episode where old cowboy “Jack” put his beloved horse down, we both sobbed and wiped our tears on his V-neck t-shirt. Monte was tough as nails in front of his construction crew but I got to see the softer side. The man with a heart of gold who loves deeply.
It’s funny how certain things remind us of past relationships. The “beep, beep, beeping” of construction, a Garth Brooks song on the radio, or seeing a foreman’s red truck on the highway. It can bring back a flood of memories.
People come and go in our lives to teach us different things.
Monte taught me how to trust and my heart felt safe with him. He wanted the softer side of Devon, and my tough, guarded ranch woman attitude began to crack. He was the first man I fully opened my heart to and allowed my walls to come down. We brought out the depth in each other and our relationship changed me.
Monte’s now ranching full time in Nevada and I’m in Denver listening to construction noises and reflecting on memories. Not pining for the past but I’m forever grateful for the chapter we shared.
“There’s always a reason why you meet people. Either you need to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.” – Angel Flonis Harefa
Thoughts on a Thursday morning,