How Do You Feel When A Family Matter Makes You Miss A Horse Show?

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I have the best extended family.  On holidays everyone comes to our house and we have huge gatherings where we joke about being a blend of the in-laws, out-laws and any one else that can make it.  Every party would not be the same without Aunt Martha and Aunt Ernie. They are my father-in-law’s sisters and they are fun, youthful, and stylish.  Both of them always stay until the last dish is cleaned up and the leftovers are divided.

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This weekend is a big USTPA Fort Worth show.  Eddie and I love going to the Will Rogers Coliseum and I have been planning my teams and looking forward to the thrill of team penning for months.  These shows are a BIG DEAL and I am a director who may have to play a role in the organization during the weekend.  But, Aunt Martha died unexpectedly of an aneurysm yesterday.

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When I heard the sad news I had to shift gears and begin changing our plans to stay home, remember Aunt Martha and support our family.  The real BIG DEAL is that our cherished senior family members are aging; the funeral is an important sense of family for all of us.  I would never not be there for my dear Pops, Eddie Sr.  I know when I begin to experience the loss of sisters and brothers it will signify the near end of life for me, and I will want all the hugs and hand holding that will get me through the tough time.

Horse shows seem important and I take my competition seriously.  I always want to be there for my students! But, tonight I will plan a different wardrobe for the weekend and I will plan to sit next to Pops and hold his hand.  When I was growing up, we had a distant uncle whose sons showed POA’s.  I was always so envious of the cousins who were at horse shows all the time.  They never attended any of the important family affairs. Back then,  I secretly wished that I had their lifestyle and that I wasn’t committed to boring weddings, baptisms and funerals.  Now I understand and now I will skip a horse show to really be there for the ones that mean the most to me.  It should be a no brainer, easy to decide, yet inside it is hard for us to let go of the seemingly important competition.  Whether it is for points, qualifications, or support of our students, horse shows are important in our lives, and sometimes only horse people understand it.  How do you feel when a family event changes your horse show plan?