One Year Later

About this time last year I said this about a memorable horse ride with my aunt and uncle:

It was 8:30 at night, a beautiful sunset. My aunt put Baby Whitney in a stroller and came out and watched. The four of us laughed and talked . . . nothing heavy. He (my uncle) rode, she rode (her first time since having the baby). They took turns slowly pushing the stroller back and forth, because Whitney was fussing a little. We took pictures. . .It was beautiful. Afterwards, I helped my uncle put the horses in. I fed them, brushed them. We talked. All was right with the world. Family. It was the way God intended it to be. No one rushed, just giving each other time, love and beauty.

That story was my way of mourning.  To read the whole thing, click here.  That night riding horse is memorable for me because it was the last time I saw Baby Whitney.  She was a very sick baby and died a couple days later.  Today, the 16th of August, is the first anniversary of her death.  Truthfully, I forgot about that this morning.  I had it in my head that it was the 20th of August, because that was (or was close to) the day of her funeral.  But then, this afternoon, my uncle called and told us to tie up our dog.  We were puzzled until he confessed that he was on his way to visit us…riding horseback!  He and my aunt live just across the field from our place and, though we’ve joked about his just trottin’ over, he has never actually done it.  He came alone (they only have one riding horse, so my aunt couldn’t come.  She’s also pregnant again–due in December–and can’t ride.) 

When we found out my uncle was coming, my brother casually commented, “Isn’t it Whitney’s death date today?”  I looked it up, and he was right.  It was.  My uncle arrived and we all took turns riding horse.  It was the first time any of my family had ridden Bits.  For them, this was fun.  For me, walking Bits along the driveway and eventually picking up to a trot out in our pasture, it was about re-living memories.  It was about a baby who I loved and longed for, but was forced to give up, never allowed to cuddle with her or watch her grow.  It was a way of healing.  We didn’t talk about Whitney at all, but I did ask my uncle how he and my aunt were doing, and he said they were fine.  I’m grateful.  Today was a big day and this horse ride was about healing as much as it was anything else. 

 Me & Bits, 2008, before Whitney's death

                                                                                                                          Me & Bits, 2008, before Whitney’s death

Me & Bits today, one year later

Me & Bits today, one year later

Restful ReflectionsEvery sunday I try to spend some time reflecting and meditating on life.  Today, I learned the exact same lessons I blogged about last year: take time for family.  I truly believe that’s the way the world was meant to run.



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