Mother’s Day Tribute 2012

Esther Hathaway with daughter-in-law Mary Phelps
Esther Hathaway with daughter-in-law Mary Phelps

We were covering a Dressage Show this weekend at the beautiful Silverwood Dressage in Camp Lake Wisconsin, just a short drive from the home of my late Mother–in-Law Esther Hathaway. We lost Esther in August 2011 at the age of 91. She joined my Mom Renie who has been gone four years now, in the universe, but I have to say while this years’ Mother’s Day was bittersweet, I felt them with us as I reveled in all the family combinations at the show this weekend. In the busy lives which are so demanding in the horse world, it is important to take stock of the things that are really important, because it is not the ribbon you won that day which stays in your memory, but the memories of the times you spent with the ones you love. Sometimes though they are not right here beside you anymore, they are always with us. Something pretty amazing happened recently about my Mom that proved to me once again she was fulfilling a conversation we had one time about after she would be gone. I had asked her if she could to come visit with a clear sign so there would be no mistake, and it happened again during a critical time when I needed her most.

My Mom Renie Phelps, thanks for still being here by my side!
My Mom Renie Phelps, thanks for still being here by my side!

It was a beautiful day in Kentucky in April but I had a heavy heart. I have been really missing my Mom so much as I was going through a pretty rough time. In a conversation with her a year before she died, we were talking about death, God, spirituality. I asked her if she could to visit me when she died or show me a sign "there really is a heaven". There have been many "Renie" messages since; a pair of her socks in my driveway, a pink balloon on my front lawn in Kentucky on the anniversary of her death, with a note from a Children's Center from Louisiana. A few dreams, and both Dad and Mom's presence as I was coming out of surgery from my accident, knowing full well they were "on the other side" but with me.

I miss her every day, and especially now, I have summoned her presence, and feel it often. One day in April I got a voice mail from a friend and client a dressage trainer I see a couple of times a year. She met my Mom on a few occasions when Renie would come to the Kentucky Horse Park to help me at the Young Horse Championships, but did not even remember her name. She had no idea of all that had been going on recently in my life, but called to leave me a message:

It's a beautiful day.
It's a beautiful day.

"I was just thinking about you. Oddly enough your Mom popped into my brain so strongly I just thought I needed to call you and tell you for some reason she seemed to have something to say to you today." I returned her call, and left her a blubbery voice message explaining briefly how much today of all days this message was so important.

In out subsequent texts here is what was said:
Me - "Sorry I was so blubbery on the phone today but you will never know how much your message meant to me today".

Her reply - "She just needed someone to tell you she loved you and that it is really a beautiful day. I am glad it was me to deliver the message."

Me - Today of all days I have been calling to her 'cause I really wish she were here right now, and I know she is."

That message was a turning part in one of life’s many challenging journeys.

So when you have a heavy heart and can not seem to get past the feeling in spite of all the beauty that surrounds you, know that that beauty comes from the people who love you who are not far away at all.

Happy Mother’s Day




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