You know I like to have some fun with this space every now and then, most of the time really. Today I’m having a hard time with fun. My wife’s best friend, and a dear friend to me, lost her battle with cancer last night. It’s like the loss of a sister to us.
Let me tell you a little about our history with, and the person that was Lori Hayes. We met Lori about 8 years ago when my wife decided to board her new horse at R & B Stable just outside Marysville. The stable was close to our home at the time and we loved going out to spend time there with Ginger, the horse. Donna and Lori quickly fell into a friendship. They spent a lot of time working their horses together. Work time was followed by sitting and shooting the breeze time, and watching the horses play with each other time.
As their friendship developed they become more like sisters. Lori was a no-nonsense horsewoman, as my wife was as well. Lori grew up riding barrel horses and was pretty darn good at it. She took her love of horses and made a name for herself training horses. I watched her take animals that I wouldn’t have gotten within 100 feet of, and teach them how to trust. Lori really understood the nature of horses.
She really understood the nature of friends too. After my wife’s last, final, accident (which resulted in a rebuilt wrist) Lori understood Donna’s love of horses might have ended. That didn’t slow these two down. They spent time that had been spent on horseback running here and there having a great time. They still spent plenty of time at the stable. Nearly every night Donna and Lori could still be found at the stable. Driving the quad from pasture to pasture at feeding time, throwing flakes of hay to the horses. The sound of the quad would barely cover the sound of their conversation and peels of their laughter. Just watching them made me smile.
About two years ago Lori started having of pain in her legs. The doctors discovered cancer. The cancer was pretty far along, it had spread to nearly every organ in her body. To watch this once vivacious, never sit down, never at a loss for a laugh woman spiral down hill was heart breaking. She fought hard, the months of chemo were never fun, but after each round she’d bounce back a little and feel better. Until she just didn’t have the strength to deal with the effects of the chemo any more. Last night at 6:35 Lori lost her fight and cancer won – again.
Lori Hayes, Thank You for the fun and the friendship. You left a hole in our lives as big as a horse….