Monday, April 26, 2010

Why I Bought My First Horse

April 26, 1984 started out as any other day. I was at work with my job for the State of Minnesota. But, unbeknownst to me.......

In my parent's house in my hometown in Michigan, things started out pretty much as usual. My mother was going shopping with her sister later in the morning so she had spent the early morning hours putting her hair in curlers. She and my Dad spent time over breakfast and coffee before he had to head out to work, discussing the day ahead and once again pondering whether or not they should move to a warmer climate when he retired in October. It was only six months away.

With their normal kiss goodbye, which they did everytime they parted, he was off to work. Thirty minutes later her world was turned upside down.

The call came from the hospital emergency room. She needed to get there and get there quick. Something had happened to my father but they would not say what.

What they would not tell her over the phone was that my father was dead. He had suffered a major heart attack within 20 minutes of arriving at work and fell to the ground. Dead before he landed.

What I learned from this sudden, tragic, unexpected event was this: Life is short and you never know when it is your turn and what is going to happen tomorrow. Or even in the next 30 minutes.

My whole life I had been fascinated with horses and longed to own one. But, at 34 years old, I had thought I was too old to go down that path. My Dad taught me otherwise. Within a year I owned my first horse and never looked back. Happy that I had learned one more valuable lesson from my Dad.


threecollie said...

Oh, man, what a shattering loss. So sorry to read of it. I would love to read more about your adventures with horses some day though...

Calypso said...

How do you do this - released 4 days before the 26th?

Sorry about your dad amigo - belated.

So why no horse now?

Leo said...

That's good advice. I came to the same realization when my Dad passed away 6 months after retiring from 40 years with the federal government. He never had a chance to relax, sit back, and enjoy life.

Sue said...

Not a happy anniversary date to remember but glad you learned the lesson there waiting to be taught. My mom died young too and that taught me a similar lesson. I hope you will post some horse stories and nowi know who to call on when we get our own horse in Oaxaca (just dreaming out loud). Nice that your parents always kissed goodbye, that's how it should always be.

Jamqueen said...

Sorry for your loss--even 26 years later--I lost my Dad in a similar situation, very suddenly, and I think we learned the same lesson--don't put it off if you want to do something!

Steve Cotton said...

A great story. A similar incident sent me off happily as a retiree to Mexico. Never regretted it.

Islagringo said...

Readers: I was quite shocked and then dismayed to see that Blogger published my post today instead of next Monday. It was to be my anniversary blog in honor of my Father. Not sure how it got put up today. Better sooner than never I suppose.

threecollie: search the word "horses" in the blog. You will find a post about all the horses I have owned over the years. With pictures!

calypso: thanks and no idea why Blogger published so early. Can you imagine having a horse on a island with no pasture land, no place to ride and nothing to feed it? There's three reasons right there!

Leo: I hope I can help teach somebody else that lesson also.

Sue: I have no doubts about you adding a horse to your menagerie some day. I agree with the kissing goodbye part. I would hate to have to say I never got to kiss my loved one goodbye.

Steve: good for you!

Theresa in Mèrida said...

If this post disappears and then reappears we'll know that blogger "fixed" the mistake.
Regardless, of the post dating, a very good post. Thank you for sharing.
I got my first horse at 35. I was saving money for a sofa, I bought my kids a pony instead. I figured that they would remember the pony but never even think about the couch. I was right.
We also had the landlady's T-bred in our pasture. Eventually, I took lessons and got my own horse. When we moved to a new place, we sold the pony and eventually ended up with a Morgan, a Quarab and an Arab, all mares.
If I ever end up someplace more temperate, I want a horse again.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Good reminder.....I, too have followed my dreams later in life, even though I thought I might be silly finally fulfilling my dreams for my own horse. I've learned a lot on this still learning in fact.

I'm sorry about the loss of your Dad. I lost my Mom when I was only 8 yrs old. Life is unpredictable. We are just here for the ride. Might as well have some fun, right?


ps I came over here from South View Farm's blog when I saw your post about your first horse.

Tiki Man said...

On March 17, 2000, my wife had a massive heart attack while we were camping in Texas. I never cried so hard nor begged God so much as I raced the 16 miles to the nearest hospital. Through my tears I got a chance to see what really mattered most to me as I saw the light of my life growing dim right before my eyes.
Against all odds, she recovered from what is known as the "widow maker" of heart attacks. I never fail to kiss her every day before I go to work and as soon as I get home. The last words we say each night to each other is "I love you."
Knowing that life can change in a heartbeat, we enjoy life to the max. Part of which is going to Isla at least once a year.
Oh, and everyone should own a horse at least once in their life.....Mine was Cimmeron, hers was Buckey.

1st Mate said...

Six months from retirement, what a poignant story... I'll remember that next time I delay something that I know would enrich my life. Would love to hear more about that horse.

Anonymous said...

My finance (our wedding was 3 weeks away) dropped dead suddenly as we were "setting up house". One minute he was here and then he was gone...forever. He was only 55 years old. He was the one who originally introduced me to lovely Isla in 2001.

Better be ready people...there's a train a coming.

Roanoke, Virginia

Islagringo said...

Wow. Some touching and powerful stories being shared. Thank you. For the people who want to hear more about the horse: this post isn't about a horse. It's about the life lesson learned.

Glenn said...

A good story, and a valuable lesson. I left a job that promised good retirement prospects in the distant future. Now, I've out-lived my father by many years, and have no regrets.

lagovistajenn said...

I feel like I am going through the same thing right now. Hubby and I have been thinking of moving to Isla. Keep just deciding to wait another year...wait another year... As I sit here in the hospital recovering from major lung surgery I am thinking that there may not be another year. What are we waiting for??? As soon as I get out of this place and get a clean bill of health we will be planning our move. I cannot wait. Life is too short to worry about tomorrow. You can only do so much planning. I don't want to have any regrets. So I think my new motto is going to have to be just do it! Thanks Wayne for confirming this for me.

Jackie said...

The answer to how this got posted early is simple. You are a time traveler and just don’t remember the trip.
Even though your post was early it is still a great tribute to your father.