Friday, March 20, 2009

The Generosity of Horse People

My heart is full and I am humbled by the generousity of horse people. I feel truly blessed to be in the midst of such good hearted people. Three years ago as some of you know, my husband Bear had a stroke followed by another and then another. It was discovered that a tooth infection had gone systemic and went to his heart, brain and spine. Next came an open heart surgery and then a second. Followed by expensive medical treatment and continued care. At 50 years old, he has two metal valves and a pacemaker as a result.

During this time, our daughter Jennifer who was diagnosed with Crohns disease became very ill. At one point, I had each of them in two seperate hospitals and was so tired and overwhelmed with medical bills. We sold almost everything we owned to stay on top of it. We continually recieved prayers and cards and letters and emotional support from this industry of loving caring horsepeople.

Recently, Jennifer's disease has gotten the best of her and she has spent weeks in the hospital only to be released and admitted again. Now I am getting ready to drive her 9 1/2 hours to the Mayo clinic looking for an end to this and I put out a call for help to anyone between us here in NW Ohio and Rochester Minnesota for a place to stay on the way if we get in trouble. What I recieved in return is so much more than I ever expected.

Phone calls, prayers and emails started to come in and our paypal account began growing slightly with small donations to help with the trip. $20 here and $5 there and suddenly for the first time in years, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and did not feel alone in trying to get our lives back. I know how good I have felt helping other fellow horse people in their times of desperation and for the first time, I feel the love of those who want to help us and I can't tell you how good that feels.

We as horse people come from all walks of life, each of us with a story of our own and a struggle that we are faced with and yet when any one of us are in need, we come together as a family and love and support each other. I can not tell you the last time I wasn't frightened that I would lose it all and with it, my husband or my daughter. I can't tell you the last time I have been able to sleep through the night and wake up and not worry that it was my last day with them or that we would lose our house.

Through my books, I have shared our lives and have had the opportunity to meet a lot of you through emails that you sent or at book signings or seminars that I have given and a lot of you have become friends. I wrote a little collection of stories called The Horses We Love, The Lessons We Learn and have recieved emails from all over the world telling me how it has changed your lives and I am so grateful for each and every one.

Thank you for your friendship and thank you for your help and most of all thank you for allowing us to be part of this family of horse lovers that continue to welcome us and support us when we need it. I know that our struggle isn't even close to being over at this point but at least I don't feel alone in trying to make it all work out. Michelle, our friend and web site developer asked if she could put a donation button on the web site and my first thought was that the economy has really hit everyone so hard and my pride wouldn't allow it. Then I recieved an email from Lynne Wiser who said that people wanted to know where to go to help. I just want to ask for your continued prayers and emails and phone calls and letters that tell me that I have an entire equine world of support as we travel back and forth for treatment and continue to get our lives back on track.

To all of you that have cared enough to be there for me and my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God bless you and your families for your caring spirit.

Love Tena
Note: A special fund has been set up for Tena and her family to help with medical bills. To learn more, go to

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