Carmen was my brother's wife for 30 years. Like a lot of our classmates, her grandmother only spoke to her in Basque. Her mother's brother was old Jess, the old Basque construction worker that I learned so much from. Her cousin, Martin, is one of my best friends. Mountain Home is a small desert town and we all joke that we are related to each other, through blood or marriage. My brother, Bill, was a wild coyote before he married Carmen. Carmen was a horse woman and she shared her love of horses with her father. There are two ways to train a horse: You can break a horse and maybe break his spirit, or gentle a horse and maybe win his affection. Carmen gentled Bill and won him over completely. Carmen used to come out on Sunday afternoons, sometimes, and I would always break out a bottle of good wine, and we would tell each other stories. When Bill and Carmen were first married Bill wanted to buy a certain pistol. Carmen told him that they couldn't afford it at this time. Carmen said she found the pistol hanging in the closet, inside one of Bill's shirts. She said she took the pistol and laid it on top in Bill's underwear drawer. They never talked about that pistol but their mutual understanding started the basis of their marriage. Carmen and Bill raised two boys who are both strong and true, and a daughter with good sense. Before the funeral, Bill and my sister, Lisa, were carrying a grudge about some long forgotten misunderstanding. Carmen's daughter, Melinda, called my little sister, Lisa, and told her life was too short for being mad at each other. She didn't take sides with anyone and she spoke from her heart. Later, my little sister said, "That was just like talking to mom." We all joined together and celebrated Carmen's life with laughter as she would have expected. Bill held it together real well until at the chapel, when most of the people had gone, he bent down and kissed Carmen good bye. I tuned my back to him out of respect. We will never have another Carmen, but that is OK because we had a fine one. Life is good.