Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The long, slow goodbye

The hardest week of my life.

On June 18th, my mother had a stroke. On June 24th she left us.

My grampa holding me on the white pony, Fury and my mom holding my hand.
Holding her hand for six days, crying, hoping. Coming together with family, fighting with said family, letting go and coming together again and again. Singing, brief sweet moments of laughing (forever cherished). And then flooding relief.

My mom's horse Princess as a yearling and me derping hard front and center, lol
I wanted to honor her here because she was a horsewoman. She is the reason I now ride.

She grew up with horses as I did. Her parents always had many. My mom rode and trained many horses when she was younger. By the time I came along, she no longer rode much at all but ensured her daughters did.

She was a perfect show mom. Sewing western show clothing for my sister and I, making sure we were entered in every town fair we could drive to. She never tended to our horses at shows: even as a little girl I was responsible for unloading my pony and getting her settled in a stall, feeding, watering, grooming.

At home I was allowed to 'play' with the horses on my own from a very young age. Either hanging out in the pasture with the herd or taking my pony off on an adventure with my little backpack of snacks for the journey--my mom allowed us to learn horse behavior and discover how to stay safe independently.

Mom had a special connection to my horse Shiraz. Even as her dementia progressed and she could not always remember 'that brown horse's' name, she would tell people about how Shiraz would stand quietly and let her pet her nose endlessly.

My mom's passion for horses spilled over to me and all three of my sisters. She never forced us, but also never asked us if we wanted to have a horse or go to shows :) It was just a given; life in my family includes horses.


  1. i am so so so sorry for your loss, your mother sounds like an incredible woman. what a childhood!! we lost my grandmother under very similar circumstances and it was extremely painful, but also in a way a relief when she was finally at peace and free of pain. sending you and your family sympathy and many hugs!

  2. So so sorry for your loss- what wonderful memories, though, and she sounds like she was such an amazing mother!

    Hugs to you and your family ❤️

  3. So sorry, she sounds like a wonderful lady. Beautiful pictures...

  4. so so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing mother. I still miss my mom daily she left us on April 1st, 2014 it does not get better but it does get easier. Just remember the good wonderful moments with her. Hugs to your whole family!!! love all all the old photos. Thank you for sharing!! :)

  5. I am so sorry. It is never easy to lose a parent. I still miss my mom too. ((hugs))

  6. So very sorry to hear about your loss. =( Your mom sounds like an incredible human. I love that she included horses in your life in such a big way from the start. I'm sure you treasure the memories and photos <3

  7. I'm so sorry, she sounds like she was a very special mother and person.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. Sound like she was a wonderful mom <3


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