Monday, December 5, 2011

Fathers and Daughters and Ponies

My father
 It is my Dad's birthday today so I thought I would write about the important role that a Dad plays when his daughter goes horse crazy--regardless of her age.  My parents did not have the money to support a horse when I was growing up.  However, they made sure that all the important things in life were covered such as health care, college, and, of course, love and support. 

So when I got interested in horses late in life, my Dad found himself in the unusual position of playing equine enabler for a daughter in her late 40s.  I had taken some riding lessons and was thinking about getting a horse.  Well, after my first ride on an Icelandic horse, I knew that I wanted an Icey.  The only instructor offering lessons on Icelandic horses was Kelly Pierce of Sundaze Icelandics, whose facility was close to my parents' home in Harrisburg, PA.  So every few weeks, I would drive to see my parents and book a lesson with Kelly. 

My Dad insisted on taking me to my lesson.  He was not at all interested in horses.  His only experience with horses was a job that he had early in his life driving a team of draft horses to drag out timber in Western Pennsylvania. This was one of his least favorite jobs.  Despite his dislike of horses, he would faithfully drive me to my lesson and patiently wait for me in the car.  So here he was in his late 60s performing a service that most fathers get out of the way in their 20s or 30s.

Today, my Dad is in nursing home.  I went to visit him a few weeks ago.  His eyes lit up when he saw me and the first words he spoke were "How's the pony?"  And he still patiently listened to me tell Blessi stories.  Thank you Dad.   I love you.

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