Photo by WARREN BLAKE on

My husband is visiting his sister, Ms. S, and family. I mention his sister as she is ill, cancer. The doctors have not informed her of how advanced the cancer is. Their sister, Mrs. L, knows, but no one has informed the patient, Ms. S. This is not a happy visit of catching up on family doings.

It is the last visit.

The discussion among the siblings is do we tell Ms. S or do we not tell Ms. S, how advanced the cancer is. A tough decision.

In the movie “The Alamo” produced by John Wayne, a character named Preacher tells a young man, “The good Book says everybody dies. The when and how, only the good Lord knows.”

When faced with death, we reflect on our lives. What regrets do we have? Dreams unfulfilled? Accomplishments? Successes?

I have some regrets, but hindsight is always 20/20, perfect vision. One regret is not spending more time with my children when they were small. My children do not think I neglected spending time or doing things with them. I look back and realize how few years we had together, and selfishly I want more memories.

There are dreams I had as a young person that will not come to pass. As a young person my dream was to be a veterinarian, I wanted to be able to help animals. I did not complete college to get a degree in veterinarian medicine, and I will not ever complete the schooling. However, I do veterinarian work with my own animals. Yesterday, I had to take care of an injured goat. I may not have doctor attached to my name, but I do medical procedures on my own animals, so in a way I am a veterinarian.

My Last Appaloosa Foal, Sparkle Lilly, 6 months age.

As an adult, my big dream was to raise an Appaloosa World Champion. I will not experience raising an Appaloosa World Champion. But daily I enjoy my two Appaloosa horses. I am proud of the horses I raised through my life. Last spring, I saw my last foal come into the world, a beautiful filly. My preferred coloring on an Appaloosa, a bay with a blanket. I asked two of my granddaughters to name her, one said “Sparkle” the other, “Lilly”. I combined the two names, Sparkle Lilly, only to be educated by my youngest granddaughter I named my foal after a “My Little Pony” figure and cartoon character.

I still dream of raising a champion, only it is with my sheep. I work towards the goal with each lambing and every purchase of a new ram or ewe. I still have dreams I am working at each day.

I have touched the lives of others encouraging and inspiring them to reach for their dreams and enjoy the trip. I touched many youth with the horsemanship clinics and lessons through the years. I worked with youth and adults to learn leather craft, ceramics and other activities. Always encouraging them to be the best they can be for themselves, not for others.

In competition, regardless of how many are in the class, there is always only one first place, and always one last place. The placing in the competition is not as important as how you felt about your performance. I would meet with my young riders and ask how they felt about their performance. I wanted to know their thoughts on what they did better than last time, how was the communication with the horse, all the high points they felt they did. Then I would ask, what do you want to work on next and why? The important answer was why.

Today is the only day we have to live. Tomorrow is not here. Each day I let my husband know I love him. I call my children and grandchildren often, I want them to know I love and care for them. I do my chores, care for my animals, do the things that bring me joy, and take care of the necessary things required to live life today (cooking, cleaning and laundry…lol).

Everyday, I ask myself” What do I want to improve on and why?” Why do I want to learn more cooking recipes and techniques? Why do I choose those vegetables to plant? or Why do I want to plant that type of tree?

I want to meet death while living. I have expressed this to my husband and my children. I want to be doing the things I love to do.


My Favorite Mountains


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