It’s been nine long/short months since we lost our Dad to complications of Parkinson’s disease. Grief is like that. It’s fast but it’s also slow. I feel it most acutely on weekends because that’s when I’d hit the road to see him. His absence is huge and created a hole in our lives that will never be filled.
More and more, when he comes up in conversation, it’s to recall something funny he said or did rather than just the loss of him. This is how we keep him alive – in our hearts and by telling stories. One day when I was feeling particularly sad about Dad, Derek told me to close my eyes and call up his voice. How wonderful that we can do that. We can still hear the people we love whenever we want. It helps.
My father loved horses. He loved owning them, training them, feeding them, grooming them and mucking out their stalls. He respected them and had a connection with them. His time owning and racing horses was the best part of his life. And although he won some races, like the one above on PEI with Accumulator, horse-racing was always a hobby. In other words, it wasn’t a money-maker! But it made him happy.
I don’t share Dad’s innate connection with horses. They intimidate me and I’ve had more than one out-of-control ride on the back of a horse that could sense I wasn’t in charge. Maybe things would be different now. It’s been at least 25 years since I last tried to ride horseback. Perhaps I should try again and see if I can discover what meant so much to my Dad.