search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts

Archives

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,642 other followers

likeable-blog-1337-1x.png

Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

I’m not sure how to begin this, or how to bring it to an end. The raw emotion of the morning is making my heart muddle my brain and words seem too hollow; a sieve that won’t allow me to capture Lisa’s Ride. And Kerby, an English teacher! How can I ever measure up with words that are just perfect?

thumb_DSC_1270_1024
Kerby, Lisa and Anne with Heather in the big field

 Lisa was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor over a year ago. She and her husband Kerby have fought the good fight, given every option a shot, held out hope for time. It is coming to an end. She has entered the Hospice stage of her journey. Her wish was to have a final trail ride on her mare Bridget with a few of her equestrian friends. The list of potential attendees was long as she has spent her life in the company of horses and students. It was an honor to find myself among those she chose.

thumb_DSC_1284_1024
Lisa with former riding students; Donnie, Anne and Lauren. Bridget’s butt in the background.

Perhaps I should start with the animals and the day. By 7am it was close to 80 degrees for the third straight day. The nights have not cooled off much and it is that quintessential 5 days of summer in NH when you really could use air conditioning, even on my side of the mountain. I slept poorly, getting up every few hours, sitting outside with a cool drink to look at the stars. This ride was planned a month or so ago when the doctors said time was short. Weather conditions and Lisa’s physical state couldn’t be accurately predicted.

Lauren (Blessings “mom” from earlier posts) and Heather’s team at Mountain Lane Farm, had already set up the picnic in the big field when I strolled into the barnyard. There was a flurry of tacking up horses before the rest of the group arrived and calculating who to pair with which animal. Twelve horses were saddled and dozing the shade from the blistering mid-day sun when Lisa and Kerby arrived. The drive from home had been difficult, the heat wasn’t helping, but she rallied and insisted she would ride. We were all mounted and ready to go when she stepped out of the indoor arena on Bridget, slightly shaky but determined.

Lisa & Heather

Lisa on Bridget with Heather.    Photo credit: Lauren Riccio.

From there, it was onward and upward!

thumb_DSC_1240_1024
Lisa and Bridget

Lisa’s horse is a stout mustang. She can be opinionated and stubborn, making her transformation with Lisa, even more remarkable. I have watched her from behind as she sets each foot down with care, never tripping or bobbling over roots and rocks. If Lisa begins to lose her balance, the little mare side-steps instinctively to steady her. Perhaps Bridget knew this was a special day for she and Lisa. Usually a slow-poke, buried far back on the line, she marched to the front, settling in near the lead as if it were her right. Night, my “dancey-pants mount”, stepped aside to let her pass and followed at a respectful distance. (This is the horse who always leads the trail rides and makes her displeasure known if she is asked follow behind anyone.) Today, the brush closed in around us as we meandered up the wooded trails in perfect harmony. Lisa was happy and all was right with the world.

thumb_DSC_1254_1024

The picnic spread was spectacular and though it was obvious a huge toll had been taken on her energy, she sat for photos with her former students, giddily acquiesced to a request of a shot of she and Kerby kissing, and joked about the past. The horses were loosely tied and stood in compatible clusters, probably also discussing the ride.

thumb_DSC_1278_1024 thumb_DSC_1312_1024

 

thumb_DSC_1315_1024
Oddly, Night didn’t eat, but stood watching us…

thumb_DSC_1305_1024

The demon was never far away. At one point we all wandered off to busy ourselves with unnecessary horse-related tasks, giving Kerby and the nurse privacy with Lisa. Dying is a delicate affair and one should know when to withdraw. When she recovered from the hell that persists in her head, we mounted and headed back down the trail. She and Kerby rode side-by-side ahead of me and I felt like an intruder overhearing their quiet joy.

thumb_DSC_1320_1024

Yes there is concern for safety, an ever watchful eye trained on the slightest imbalance, but those brief glimpses in between, when you know there is nothing but this moment, makes the risk worth taking.

 

 

22 comments on “Lisa’s Ride

  1. Doppleganger says:

    Awesome….. what a post. What a great group. I don’t care what anyone says, horse-people rally, are unerringly sensitive to man and beast, unselfishly step up to support a compatriot or beast in need and wordlessly close the ranks in protection. For those of us who can relate to the life on horseback, the comraderie of being with a companion 10 times our size, the sacrifices we make to keep them healthy, the joy we get out of silent communication with them, and, finally the “sistership” of others just like us is immeasurable. You all did something really special. Wish I were there.

    1. Thank you Doppleganger. I was honored to be a part of this celebration of Lisa’s life. The animals seemed to know it was a special ride and the calm atmosphere that pervaded was so comforting.

  2. jaknisell says:

    Great blog! I am glad you were able to be part of this very important time in your friends life!

    1. Thank you Annie. She is an inspiration to me and many others.

  3. PaulaMedical says:

    You can clearly see that she enjoyed every moment of her ride! Very special. I wish her well with safety and comfort in her journey/transition. Difficult to witness but it’s clear she has kind, caring, loving people in her life. It’s a reflection of Lisa’s personality-no doubt.

    Though it’s not the same because you guys were able to make it happen-our local Home Hospice tries to accommodate their clients in their last journey as well. Tries to fulfill one last special moment-be it seeing the sun rise on the beach or going to their local favorite shop, etc. The hospice company works with the local EMS to make it happen and there has been good feedback.

    Again, sending good thoughts on a comfort journey in the transition.

    1. Thank you Paula. I too do hospice work and I have to say, even finding the small daily joys for clients is so important at the end of life. And yes, Lisa’s personality is one of giving. Hopefully, some of us have attempted to repay that with our ride.

  4. julieallyn says:

    Beautiful, Martha. What an honor for you to have been a part of this.

    1. Indeed Julie. It puts everything in perspective for a moment at least…

  5. At least you’ll all have good memories of this time with your friend. So much better to look back on than other situations might be.

  6. This is beautiful.
    Mustangs are remarkable horses – sturdy, surefooted and smart. Bridget is a dream horse – just lovely – she very much knew.
    The ride a true gift for a friend. (and for those who ride along)

    1. Thanks Phil. So blessed to be surrounded by noble beasts and loving humans.

  7. Next week, our discussion group is focusing on dying with dignity, and I am so glad to have your wonderful commentary to help me contribute to a difficult topic. Thanks.

    1. How interesting Susan. What other topics does your discussion group cover? Death is a tough topic but one we should all find a comfort level with…

      1. We’ve covered the lofty (caring economies) and the personal (how to relax). It’s interesting to have lunch with a group and try to stick with a topic.

      2. So interesting! Thanks for sharing Susan, it sounds like an interesting group.

  8. Touring NH says:

    It’s truly wonderful you were all able to get together for such an important ride for Lisa and Kerby. Warmth and love must have filled the air.

    1. Indeed Laura. Not one person checked a cell phone and everyone was focused on the moment.

  9. Marie Keates says:

    Such a bittersweet post Martha. I’m glad she got her last ride and that it was so perfect but sad it will be her last, even though I don’t know her.

    1. Thank you Marie. It was an honor to be with her and the animals. It was her last ride…

      1. Marie Keates says:

        How lovely to be able to share it 🙂

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson

~ WRITER, REBEL, RACONTEUR ~ AND MOST OF THE TIME A MIDDLE-AGED DESK JOCKEY

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

The Next Phase Blog

Social commentary and opinions: No guns, politics, or religion.

Breaking New Ground in Zone 6

The adventures of Southern gardeners starting over in New England

Marsha's Bungalow

the WW2 era chicken coop

iwalkalone.co.uk

the world one step at a time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Formaggio Kitchen

Artisan cheese, charcuterie and specialty food.

Not Another Tall Blog

Not just another tall blog. Because being tall is NOT all we talk about! Follow me for tall talents, tall fashion, rock interviews and more!

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling

cheryl62blog

Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.

GARDEN OF EADY

Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. - https://twitter.com/Grey_Enigma

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Nicholas Andriani

Adventure Travel and Gastronomy, Passionately Explored

AM Simpson

Loves Final Kiss

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

hoosiersunshine13

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East

JOSELYN'S BRAWL

Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List

Stephanie Raffelock

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.