Do you ever feel lead to do something?
I’m not just talking about wishing you could do something but almost the opposite. More like knowing you should do something but it is going to be inconvenient so you really don’t want to do it…even though you know you should.
There have been a fair number of times in my life where I have had this happen. I didn’t always act on it. The times that I didn’t act, because it was really quite inopportune, are some of the biggest regrets I have had in life.
The last day I saw my dad alive I had no idea that it was going to be just that. But I did have one of those nagging feelings.
In the summer of 2006 I had a really nice Nikon camera with a great zoom lens but it wasn’t digital. My nagging feeling was about black and white film. I kept
thinking I should buy black and white film. I had even stopped at one store but they didn’t have any.
Oh, well. No big deal…
…but that nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away.
I tried to ignore it. I was busy. I had color film….but it just kept nagging.
I didn’t understand this nagging feeling but I had enough experience with it to realize that I would likely regret not acting on it. Finally, we loaded up the family and drove out of the way to a specialty camera store to get the film. The nagging feeling was gone.
We met my dad for lunch. The kids played. We talked, as always a little awkward but both trying. Dad showed the boys his car. He always loved cars. I shot photos with my zoom lens trying to catch my dad unaware. Almost all the photos I had of him reflected his discomfort of being the subject of the camera.
The kids got tired. Dad got in his little sports car and waved goodbye.
* * *
That fall I stood in the same specialty camera store with an undeveloped roll of black and white film in my shaking hand. I explained to the lady behind the counter that I would like it developed in house as I had once had a roll ‘sent out’ for developing that was lost. She assured me that they wouldn’t loose it but they needed to send it out. Voice cracking I explained to her that the roll contained the last photos taken of my dad who had just died. The color drained from the clerks face and she said she would expedite things and keep the film local.
It is hard to believe that film had to be developed and that you really didn’t know what was on the roll until it was. When I returned the next day for the film my hands were again shaking as I flipped through the images.
Tears slipped down my cheeks as I came across the photo I was hoping I would find the one that captured the way I remember my dad. But the one that took my breath away was at the end.
The last photo on the roll was taken as my dad pulled away in his car. He had a rare smile on his face as he waved his final goodbye.
* * *
Jesse and I both lost our dads while we were in our 30’s. It has welded the thought into us that life is fleeting. That time spent with those you love is precious and that God often nudges us to do things we don’t understand at the time but we will often understand later.
Below is the ride that was dedicated to my dad just 24 days after he went to live in heaven.
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I’ve always loved your bareback bridleless ride and I’ve been moved by it on more than one occaision.
That nagging feeling could be womans intuition, or you pick up vibes other people can’t. Eather is a skill you were born with. Always listen to your nagging feeling because it is always right.I think that’s why you are so good with horses. I have the same thing, its like someone is talking in your head, and I don’t mean hearing voices or anything crazy.
I too never get tired of watching this. My heart races everytime I watch it.
I never get tired watching the emotion, beauty, and trust of this performance. Your dedication to your dad brings even more tears.
I have that video on my desktop and watch it over and over again and never stop being amazed at how beautiful and inspirational it is.
I sadly have lost my young horse to a leg injury, we spent 3 weeks trying to save his leg but the damage was too great and I had to let him go. Heartbreaking…..”-( The breeder is also devastated and has offered another young horse to me but I am having a nagging feeling that it may get injured too. I don’t know whether it’s intuition or just plain fear. I’ve had past intuitive feelings that have played out exactly as I’ve thought so this has me really spooked. I just don’t know what to do 🙁
Thanks for sharing this sad, but very nice Story! BIG hugs to you and I wish for you that time will heal this wound.
Oh my gosh ! Love your story! I’ve watched this video many times & cry every time . I lost my Dad in 1987 he loved riding horses as much as I do! Your Dad looks so much like the actor Robert Mitchum . Ride to the bridge Dad & Roxy!
Great story….Thanx for sharing……I have always loved black and white photos …..dont know why but they just seem to capture whatever moment is happening…..your dad’s car is awesome…. What kind is it if ya don’t mind me asking?
Every single time I watch this, it brings tears to my eyes! Now that Roxy is gone to, even more so….RIP to your Dad and this amazing horse, Roxy….
This is the video that I came across one day awhile back when I was randomly searching things about animals, horses in particular. I had never heard of you, but I have always been a horse lover!! I never showed, but have had horses all my life, just enjoy being around them. To this day, I am 61 y/o & still have a very senior paint mare, a senior pony, & a donkey as well as 2 goats. Animals have just always seemed to be my thing, my comfort, my therapy!! I was so impressed by this video & it introduced me to you & all your work. I really enjoy reading your posts, watching any videos you have on there, etc. My granddaughter, who lives just outside Cincinnati shares my love of animals, especially horses and she is a 4-H member & shows her horse. She started in Western Pleasure, but at ripe ‘old’ age of 12 has found the speed classes/shows to be her thing. She’s pretty good too!! Your tribute to your Dad was absolutely priceless. Hopefully one day I can bring my granddaughter to meet you. Thank you for this site & your impressive work!! Be watching for more good things!!! Jennifer Bates
Oh, Stacy! What a perfect post for Father’s Day. Especially for those of us that have lost our Dads. Thank you. The clip of you and Roxy is my favorite and always brings tears to my eyes. Happy Father’s Day.
Thank you for your story Stacy it is a wonderful Tribute. My Dad left last Night for a Final trip to Japan with my Step Mom Michiko. When I said good bye I knew it was up to him if he was going to come back to his homes and family here in the USA again. He is 88, my other six siblings and I have planned his 89th Birthday Party for July. I pray that I get to see and hug him again. My Mom is gone for a few years now and I miss her but my Dad has always been the strength in our Family. We both have three Birth Sons ( plus I have a few adopted ones I helped raise), Mine are all grown and I have a Grandson who was seven yesterday. I see my Dad in all of them. Their talents, intellects, integrity and even their handsome faces reflect his influence so his legacy is safe! I can see your boys have also been so blessed! Plus they have you for a Mom what could be better than that! Everything is as it was meant to be even if we do not understand it all. My boys are now men but the horses I have bred and raised remain my eternal kids with four legs a constant source of joy! What you did to honor your Dad is so touching and shows just what a great job he did being your Dad! Well Done!
I believe you Dad has given up his cars and is riding Roxy now. RIP to your Father and Roxy.
I have lost both parents now, and can relate to that nagging feeling and captured last moments together. I am glad that you have such a wonderful lasting image of your father smiling as he drove off. Surely, he is smiling in Heaven now patting Roxy for you. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. Like countless others, I too, have cried watching the ride you dedicated to him. That simple act, whether intended or not, keeps the love you have for each other alive every time someone watches that beautiful ride.
I love that ride so much! This video is stored in a file on my computer…..forever. I will put it on a dvd! The love between a girl and her horse is such a great thing! No one can understand unless they have had it!
From one of your greatest admirers ( and a fellow horse lover)
what a tribute to your Dad…I have watched this video so many times…always cry but now probably will more since I know the story behind it…
So beautiful. I never tire of watching this and cry every time. It was so special and so are you. RIP Roxy.