I'm not quite sure where to start here. As far as riding goes, I had a couple of not so wonderful lessons but this past Monday's was "awesome" in my trainer's opinion. Wednesday I got my hair cut and colored - it had been since November so I was long overdue. Afterwards I went to a friend's who had surgery recently and visited with her.
When I got home my husband said my trainer had called. Oh boy! Maybe she needed help at the barn! So I called her right back, got her voice mail and left a message. She called a few minutes later to tell me her mother had died the day before.
This is where this entry gets kind of tricky. The owners of my barn are very private people so I don't want to offend them. On the other hand, I feel compelled to write a small memorial.
My barn is owned by a woman and her two daughters. The mother, "J", had a training accident some years back that left her a paraplegic. I was not aware of this so the first time I had a lesson with "Mom" I was taken by surprise. "J" was a force to be reckoned with. She had a dynamic personality and would not let me get away with anything. She was excellent at having me refine my riding skills and would push me to get it right. She always said how much she enjoyed her adult students because she could be more forthright with them and not have to be as tactful as with the young kids. Our lessons together involved a lot of back and forth bantering.
I was always happy to run errands for her and help out in any way I could. Don't get me wrong, there were many, many people involved in her life more than I was. However, I was looking forward to getting to know her better. I knew she was reading the book, The Eighty Dollar Champion which I finished a short time ago. I was anticipating talking about it with her and finding out if she'd ever attended a National Horse Show. She may actually have seen the horse this book was written about. Last summer I did a little gardening for her and was looking forward to doing it again this year. I had also volunteered to help out with a horse show that she chaired. Now none of these things will happen the way I thought they would.
It's hard to believe that I'll never hear her counting, "One, two, three" in an effort at getting me to dismount quickly. Or, "Yeah, yeah, yeah" when I whined that I couldn't do something.
Her passing is such a shock because it was totally unexpected. I am trying to help out but also feel like somewhat of an outsider compared to those who have known the family for years. I'll bumble along the best I can.
"J" I will miss you. Your death has left a hole in my heart.