Monday, November 9, 2009

The Summer Passes and Takes My Father

This blog has been "silent" for a few months. Shortly after our foal was born on June 13, my father was diagnosed with Lymphoma and I left the bucolic farm life to care for him. While the prognosis of remission was excellent for his type of Lymphoma, complications from the chemotherapy ultimately took him on the morning of August 7, 2009.

(pictured: The five-acre Arkansas farm my Dad loved)

I was away from our horse farm most of the summer. I had just planted a garden, determined to live off its produce for the rest of year. As a former college administrator and sales director with a graduate degree, I have been unemployed and unable to find full time employment in our northeast Ohio area. Growing a garden was a good use of my time, an especially good use for all the horse manure produced at the farm, and would hopefully prove to be economical. But the garden was left to survive on its own when I had to leave. Jack's sister from Poland had scheduled a month-long visit at the same time, and Jack had his hands full with not only maintaining the usual farm routine, (Which really takes 2 full time people) but also with spending some quality time with his sister during her first visit to the states.

(pictured: My 2009 garden, just planted.)

When I finally came home in September I went right to my garden. I don't know why, but I could feel my Dad's presence there. He had had a fabulous garden last year, and started one this year, but had to abandon it when his treatments began. Dad was also a writer, and I think he's prompting me to get back at it. So, with renewed strength, I'll be filling in the details of the summer of 2009 that passed so quickly taking my father along.

This summer brought us life and brought us death. What I've come to realize over the past few months is that death is really a part of the cycle of life. It's a transition from a "body". It has a purpose, although we can't even begin to understand what or how.

I probably wouldn't be writing about living on a horse farm if it weren't for my dad. I came into this world with a love for horses. And I always wanted one. Always. When my parents finally retired on five acres in the sleepy little town of Mena, Arkansas, my dad promised me a horse. But I was already in college and involved in my education. Still, Dad gave me a special certificate "good for one horse".

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