There are people in your life right now that you visit with on Facebook or by text on a regular basis, maybe you even call them on the phone. You take it for granted that they and you will be around forever. I had a great friend like that in Dee McMaster. We did not always agree. She told me things I did not want to hear. She challenged me to be better, smarter and have nicer horses. She applauded my triumphs and consoled me for my losses. Honestly, her passion sometimes was too much for me. I do not like confrontation and just want everyone to get along. Watching and reading about Dee’s latest activities sometimes left me tired.
My life is a crazy combination of a job I work, a business I love, my family that I cherish and my animals that fulfill me ( and not necessarily in that order). I understood why USEA rule changes bothered her. I was perplexed along with her when her banana bread was stolen from her freezer (btw- it probably was THAT good!). But sometimes I just did not understand the fight. It seemed there was a lot grit in this strong women and when she was determined to do something, she accomplished it, taking no prisoners.
Dee had back surgery. It should have helped but I am unclear if it did. Still she carried on, feeding, cleaning stalls, cooking wonderful food. And always caring for her horses and others. She would stay up long nights ‘just in case’ a mare might foal. Her foals were products of serious study. Which sire and mare combination would give Melissa the best chance of that top Rolex horse? Dee intelligently evaluated mounds of data to make the perfect foal. Some on the farm, right now, born of her knowledge and intuitive wisdom, just might carry on in her name to that winner’s circle.
Dee complained of being tired, of being hurt and of not sleeping. I know a little about those things as well suffering pelvic fractures, two replaced hips and five rotor cuff surgeries in less than ten years. Especially in the heat, you hit the wall with pain and lack of sleep and wonder if you can even make it back to the house.
But neither the pain or the chronic fatigue took away the pride Dee had in her daughter Missy and her riding accomplishments. While she would be the first to tell you that recent times had been rocky between them, she would quickly acknowledge that she only wanted the best for her talented daughter. Nothing less was acceptable.
Her son Jeremy was born with some serious issues that led a hospital spokesperson to recommend he be sent away to a state home. As in lock away the baby and never see him again. Although he has had his own difficult challenges, this son of Dee’s has accumulated three degrees and recently sat for his law entrance exams. Sounds like that mama bear grit is happily at home in this brilliant young man, too.
And of her granddaughter, Codi, Dee thought she hung the moon. No child could have been loved more intensely or appreciated so much. From running track, to beautiful paint work, to top grades at a tough school, Codi has come to win. Her passion for life mimics her grandma’s.
It will be a long time before the pain eases for me and I quit scanning Facebook for a new message from Dee. I could count on her learned opinion on anything I cared to ask her about. I have struggled as Dee has over the years to raise my family and care for my animals. It is normal to dream about situations that can help you out of the endless financial drain. I certainly have dreamt of winning the lottery. Dee dreamed of winning the lottery but she had a whole list of people she would help when she did. And I have no doubt that she would.
Dee did not wake up this morning to start another brutal hot Florida day on the horse farm. She will never see those babies whose existence she pondered so deeply grow up. Nor will she get to see Jeremy as a lawyer helping kids just like him find better lives because mom’s did not believe in them, like Dee did. And that day when Melissa finally makes it to Rolex, Dee will be a whisper in wind and guide over fences. And Codi, must cherish every wonderful memory of her grandma, because their will be no more.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought I would see you again…
May the lord bless you and keep you forever now, Dee.
Melissa with Roy.
I am trying to help this family with funeral expenses for their mom and grandma. Give if you can. Pass this on to others that might be able to help. Thank you.