Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fear of...

Is there ever a point in your life when you begin to feel completely safe? When the trappings of your childhood, your high school heartaches, your college embarrassments, and your adult mistakes all fall away and you can just stand there and feel completely safe?

I’m not talking about breast cancer. I wish it were that simple. I am being photographed on Monday for a book project that a woman is doing on breast cancer survivors, and she asked me to write up my “story”.

Now, every breast cancer survivor has their story. They may modify to suit their audience, the situation they are in when telling it, or how they need to use it. For this situation, I have been asked to look at how I overcame the trial of being diagnosed and going through breast cancer. And my first reaction was “HAVE I overcome it?” And I didn’t mean in the literal sense of being finished with treatment or moving into a place of survivorship. I meant, when I asked myself that, “have I reached a place in my life where I feel safe from harm, from things that will come back and haunt me no matter what they are?”

I have a fear of clowns that goes back to being an impressionable age when the movie “Poltergeist” came out and that darn evil clown attacked the child in her bed. I don’t like loud cracking sudden thunder (or any loud booming surprise noise) and I am pretty sure this goes back to an incident as a baby when my dad and uncle cracked cue sticks down onto a pool table and laughed at how I jumped up in reaction in my chair. I have little fears and mini-breakdowns in anticipations of specific meetings at work only based on how previous meetings have gone (I attended an excellent workshop once about the conversations we have with ourselves in anticipation of things like this – still hasn’t helped though!).

So I wonder, if at the ripe old age of 85 or 90, should I be lucky enough to live that long, will I feel so truly safe that I will not feel intimidation or fear about anything I once feared? Will I no longer shiver slightly when thunder booms? Will I be able to laugh at clowns instead of only see evil lurking in their eyes? Will I think that I overcome those things that once I was certain were out to harm me? Or will I have to wait until I have moved beyond this world and look down upon those things and simply laugh at myself?

Even worse, what if I am killed by a raving lunatic clown with a thunderous voice? Will I then look down from above and say “HA! I was right to be scared!” ?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tack Trunk Project

In the fall of 2008...ish?...I was serendipitously introduced to Jo Wickline and her lovely stable out at LJL Farm. You see, I rode horses as a teenager. It was more than that. I lived for horses. I began at around 11 and rode until my mom and I moved to the Gulf Coast at 16. I rode at 3C Horsemanship School (which back then was 3C Farm) and was lucky enough to be there when the Cornetts still bred and trained American Morgan horses. I rode their foundation stallion, Shakers Shoofly, as well as his son the World Champion 3C Avenger. I showed Morgans at regional shows, placing as high as 3rd and qualifying for Worlds. But I was also privy to more than the average "equestrienne" student at that age because I was so into it and there so much of my free time. I saw foals born, mares bred, colicky horses tubed, colts gelded, and helped with many young horses at various phases of training. Not all of that was retained. Some of it was just doing what I was told and not completely understanding the motivation or reasoning behind the doing of it. But all of it lay in my heart and the memory felt a little like one of those jewelry boxes with the ballerina that some girls have and women keep around to admire.

So when my mother in law had taken up riding lessons and invited me to come out, I fell in love with Jo, with LJL Farm, and with all the horses out there. Not long afterwards I began riding a Thoroughbred not owned by Jo but kept there. Brite was once a racehorse and had the issues to go with that. He also was more than 15 years old, had been tried out in just about every style, as well as completely not ridden for long stretches at a time. So I had a project. Suffice to say that although he is a sweet, gentle, and soulful horse, and I had a wonderful time with him for about 8 months, things ultimately came to a close last September. I was thrown (if you ride horses, you are going to get thrown!) and hurt and that was the end of me riding Brite.

Once I recovered, Jo offered a gorgeous gelding by the nickname of Snickers up for lease. I jumped at the chance and the rest is now history. I am in love with him. His real name is Del Rey Rhythm, he's 6, 16.1 hands, was raced as a 2 year old, then barrel raced, and then eventually ended up with Jo. I have been working him in some dressage as I train to learn this art myself - interesting way to go about it. one knows when you own or lease a horse you very quickly acquire a lot of stuff and you need someplace to keep it! Jo has a great tack room at LJL but one also needs a little storage outside of the room. I decided to resurrect an old trunk of mine that Brian and I used as a coffee table.

Actually, as it turns out, this trunk had a history.

Before Brian and I painted it a boring brown with black trim I had used it to store blankets while at college. It's metal and cold and clanky. Not cedar or padded...
My mom used it as a place to store her scuba diving equipment. I remember it always having the smell of saltwater and sand and being slightly musty. But I had no idea that before that, it used to belong to her father, my grandfather. It was his Army trunk from World War II. This explains the Army green color it once was. And the leather handles that have fallen off.

However, now, armed with spray paint, spray gloss, and some beautiful customized decals from the extremely talented Elizabeth Moyer at Moyer Custom Decals.... I have this!

Notice the hot pink, the dressage rider, the sparkly couldn't be more ME if it tried!!!!

Not bad for an old Army trunk :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friendship Introspection, Part II

A look into friendship, for me, could not be complete without a discussion of the friendship I share with my husband, Brian.

Brian and I met through mutual friends while working in restaurants in the late 1990's. We opened a restaurant as part of a training crew, and spent many long hours together. At first, we even hung out as friends, and he actually had a crush on another gal. I had no feelings for him other than friendship, but I do remember watching him do some computer training and thinking there was something special about him...but it was not a ground-shaking, earth-shattering "this is the man I am going to marry!" moment. A bit later, he asked me out and the rest is history. We dated, fell in love, and married.

Some where in between the dating and the marrying, I realized he had also become my best friend. And that friendship became no more apparent than when I was diagnosed with breast cancer upon the return from our honeymoon. Brian had to cease being my husband, to cease being someone with needs and wants, and even dreams. He had to become someone who could support me and listen to me completely unselfishly. He had to become the person who would cook for me, clean up my vomit, and get my prescriptions filled. So very NOT the image of a newlywed husband.

Now he is the person who I want to spend my free time with, who I think about calling first to share a joke or a tidbit with, and who I want to discuss almost any topic with.

Almost :-)

We have our differences, of course. We swim in them and enjoy a good debate now and then. But mostly, it is the long discussions where we are in complete agreement and simply are looking at things through different colored glasses that I find the most enjoyable because I learn so much from him. He's so smart!

And of course there are times when we have the boy/girl disagreements that spring simply from being of opposite genders. The times when I want to turn to someone else and say "Can you believe he just said this?" and have them affirm what a complete doofus he is, and what a complete genius I, obviously, am.

These are the times that are difficult for me. I can't call my husband to complain about my husband! Especially since, being a man, he would try to fix something that simply can't be fixed!
These are the times when a completely different friend is needed.


Blog Template by