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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A MOD REMEMBERS: We Will Remember You Barbaro - A Tribute (+playlist)

O.K. FAIR WARNING - This is a true story, a real heartbreaker... and an
inspiration. Keep tissues handy if you watch.

THE OTHER DAY I opened my mailbox and discovered a cream colored
envelope from The Dean and Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine. Baffled, I wheeled back up in Black Beauty,
set myself in the big, blue stuffed chair overlooking Elliott Bay and the
Olympic Mountains, and just stared at it. Who do I know there? Did someone
make a mistake sending this to me? So, I stared at it because the envelope was
so beautiful.

Then I opened it.

Inside was a card with deep blue edges, a prominent seal on top, and the following

"The Dean and Faculty
of the
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
wish to inform you that
a generous gift has been made to the
Bararo Fund
in your honor by
(a MOD we all know and love)

New Bolton Center
I just wept. (Yes, I have turned into a big crybaby.)
I couldn't believe my eyes.
I couldn't believe my eyes when Barbaro fell...
the horse with the Mightiest Heart!
We all wept then. We weep now; remembering
just as we do and did with each owlet
who passed away...
A MOD made a generous gift to the Barbaro Fund
in my honor.
Yes, I was one of those little girls but not the kind who wanted a pony,
I wanted a racehorse! I voraciously consumed every single horse
book written that I could find as as child;
took riding lessons & competed in a horse show or two...
BUT what I really, really wanted, as Yahoo Rose knows,
was to sit atop my very own racehorse and run proud, run free:
Barbaro Flew.
And then he didn't.
And a little bit of a nation died with him.
And no one will ever forget.
So, I wept. But not because of Barbaro, exactly,
I wept because of the Large-Heartedness of such a Gift!
And how many will benefit from it.

Because, having told no one, I fell, too.
So, this was  personal. As every one of
you feel personal.
And so exactly, perfectly touching my Heart,
the way Squirrel does from his portrait on the wall,
the way every eCard, email, phone message, get well card,
every prayer, and every star wrap me up and tell me
to keep on fighting, that I am not alone even though just feels that way a lot.
Because I am afraid to share.

Whether it's temporary and treatable
or degenerative remains to be seen, but I've begun
experiencing temporary partial to full paralysis events.
Not just falling.
It's new. There's not a top sheet on my bed because when
I woke up paralyzed at 1 a.m. just to get up and go to
the bathroom I wasn't wearing my riding gear so POI got
me into a gown and the First Responders, who could not
fit a gurney into the bedroom, simply ripped off the top
sheet, wrapped me up in it like a mummy, and off we hurled
back to the hospital. "Flaccid Paralysis" (possible electrical
nerve conduction thingy) and more new, fun stuff.
 "Secret Agent" POI & I have entered
an even more distant Galaxy we never noticed flickering
in the broad expanse of the Night Sky...
Barbaro fell with such courage.

You MOD who made this completely unexpected, generous gift -
and every single one of you MODS who have sent cards, prayers,
thoughts of love,
phone calls, emails, ecards, given so generously to the Guinea Pig Sanctuary
that they now enjoy warmth, coziness, fun, soft homes of their own here.
... all my near and dear ones
in India and stateside...and now Barbaro:
Fearlessly this horse galloped with full-hearted
determination to win...
until he couldn't run any more.
Thank you for making a generous donation
to the Barbaro Fund in my honor.
Now you have given meaning to this illness for it is
going to help other animals. But you've also raised
the bar for the kind of courage I require.
I can't give up now, for love of a racehorse.
Thank you for this donation. And thank you on behalf
of those who cannot but whinny, stamp their feet with glee,
ask for an apple or lump of sugar...
Thank you for taking time to think, to reflect, and truly
introspect about what kind of Gift would make me
happy. Every card, every prayer received has come
with so much attention to detail, so much love.
There is a saying: "God hears the cry of an ant before
the trumpet of an elephant."
 We endure amongst giants: guinea pigs who struggled
to live when - upon entering the Sanctuary dying, had been given up on.
They not only lived, they forgave, survived, thrived,
they loved. And love.
Thank you.
I always wanted to ride "Black Beauty." Didn't expect her
to be a wheelchair. Perhaps I will have to rename her:
Thank you.


  1. What an awesome gift! You, at times, may feel alone, but you are not. Every corner of this round world is pulling for you. Know it, believe it! I bid you peace and love my friend.

  2. Thank you, Marifun...I don't have one of those "circle thingys" so never know if anyone even reads the blog at all, yet here you always are! And how happy you always make me...Marifun, thank you. (((MODS)))

  3. What a wonderful tribute from a MOD who knows how much joy you bring to us even when you can't chat online. Love the beautiful picture of Squirrel, too. You are held in our hearts all the time. Kathy

  4. Thanks, every time I see the ferry plying her way to Bainbridge Island across Elliott Bay, I remember YOU! :) and the Wee Kestras...and our time together. What a birthday, Kathy!

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    chana & the Piggles

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