Okay, I confess. I’m afraid of loading a horse on a trailer. I fear that my high-spirited, eleven hundred pound equine will freak out, squish me into the side panel breaking all my ribs, and generally mangling me to a bloody pulp. Of course, two weeks ago, there was no one within a fifteen-mile radius to load my young mare into the trailer –except me. I fretted for five days prior to D-Day. Psyching myself. Remembering past successful loading experiences. Reviewing my escape-from-this-trailer options… Breath… How was I going to do this?
Funny enough, two weeks previously, I spoke at an event about overcoming obstacles and pushing through fear. When I was asked to speak, I was told that there are things that qualify me as a bonafide “bad *ss:” Pilot, aerobatics competitor, horsewoman, carpenter, writer, producer, and director, not to mention, finding the emotional courage to face death as Patrick and I battled his terminal cancer.
I thought I was pretty fearless until Patrick/my ”Buddy” died. Then, I found out how much I had always felt protected by him. I suddenly was in crippling grief and had to take care of myself. And I found all these fears springing up. But now, I was alone, and in a position where I couldn’t afford to meltdown. I had no one to depend on, but me.
Buddy used to get so mad at me when I was afraid (he was not afraid of the devil himself)! Upset, I wondered why he wouldn’t give me a break (I’m a girl, right?). I realize now that he saw a courage and boldness in me that I wasn’t seeing myself. It’s like he kept trying to hold up a mirror to say, “Don’t be silly! Look at who you are!!”
Sometimes it’s hard to overcome the boogey men in our minds.
And you know, it’s not really about having a brave man around for protection. After Buddy died, I was faced with how capricious life can be. I became aware that bad things could happen to good people. All the time.
I tried so hard to save him. And it was hard for me to accept that, ultimately, this life is something I can’t control. So, who says that if I do the right thing, make the right choices, that something bad might happen anyway? Suddenly, the world is not a very safe place, and seems to be so without rhyme or reason.
Trust in yourself. And think.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.
The trick is, to not get paralyzed by fear. Sometimes I get my back up against the wall, and I have no choice but to think my way out of it! More often than not, I’m afraid of something that doesn’t even exist, and even though I can feel my mind peering at it, assessing it, seeing all the evidence to the contrary, it can still be hard to move through the anxiety. One thing about Buddy, he refused to let fear rule his actions. He trusted his experience, calculations, and talent.
“I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it,” said Nelson Mandela.
Ah, take a deep breath.
I never wanted to have to be this strong. Face so many difficult obstacles. But . . . maybe life is asking me to step up to the plate. Maybe it’s asking me to be everything Buddy already believed I was. Maybe he’s up there smiling, saying, “What did I say?” & “It’s about time.”
No doubt. It’s still hard, but I am getting stronger, braver, and wiser.
And when I went to load Ali that Sunday, I was calm (horses read energy extremely well, you
know). I had decided I wasn’t going to worry about what could happen, and instead, we’d take this a step at a time. Think. I asked her to step on to the back of the trailer. She hesitated, but did. I clucked to her. She boldly stepped up with her rear feet also – Whuompf. And as I led her forward, she stopped, flattening her ears (unhappy)! I didn’t rush her, and coaxed her forward reassuringly. And she moved calmly into place, ready to be tied.
Wow! That went great! I almost can’t wait to do it again!! I felt sooo excited.
I see that I am faced with challenges everyday: from loading horses, piloting a plane through icy clouds, to making a difficult phone call. And if I stay aware, I get to choose how I deal with them. And it’s those choices that make me stronger, more determined, and fearless.
Great Lisa, some sound advice. Needed reminding. Glad you are hitting clear skies. 😉
Way to go Lisa! I’m always so inspired by you and continue to be. If you ever speak in the Cape Cod area please let me know because I would love to come see you.
Milene Nemeth says
You are a amazing woman!!! Love your blog etc makes me feel stronger as a widower an woman!!! It’s hard being alone after 50 years!!! You encourage me so much!!! Thank u!!!
I am honored to be of encouragement! & 50 years?! I know after being married for 34 years (basically all of my adult life), it’s been like learning how to walk all over again. Huge discovery to find out how to live my live without him. And even though I’m remarried, that journey continues.
Thank you for your very wise words! Well done for believing in yourself hun x
Youre an amazing person wish i could do half of what you do !
Willbe thinking of you on buddy passing over day!
God rest his soul x
Ps you look amazing by the way !
Pps. I have photo approval, you know. I avoid posting hideous pictures of myself. hah!
Once again Lisa I so enjoy reading your blogs and to know that I am not alone on this incredible journey, having lost my husband after 41 years together. He too was a very strong individual who encouraged me to overcome many fears and do things myself. Of course I was comfortable in trying to accomplish difficult tasks and overcome fears when he was there to back me up, give encouragement or even, in some cases, take over. Without him, I no longer had that comfort level and it has taken some time but I am finally able to climb up on that ladder to clean my windows, and pick the fruit on my tree. When I am up on that ladder, I look to the sky and smile and I know he is smiling back down at me!
Isn’t it funny how the ones we love and lose still inform our life everyday? I feel like I’m still learning from my late husband, and there’s still a relationship there.
Thanks for sharing with me, Ginny.
Pam Capone says
Wow! Lisa. What a powerful blog. Fear can paralyze us into submission. It is something I fight all the time. But I find once I do whatever I feared it’s like, wow that wasn’t so bad. Like u I am approaching my husbands death date in September (15th) soon and I find it does get quieter each year. Not easier just quieter. Please keep writing, you are such an inspiration to me.
Michele seymore says
Great blog! One I needed to hear! I had mentioned to you before in another blog you wrote about me trying to save my mom and me being everyone else’s caregiver and who in the event I got sick would take care of me? Well I’m finding out now! August 4th I found out that my kidneys are only functioning at 4%. The doctors said I need “emergent” dialysis. This was a hard pill for me to swallow due to the fact that I FELT FINE! I was walking at least three miles a day, going to the gym four days a week and making plans with a friend to break her seven year old Arabian mare to ride! Now here I sit with a perma-cath in my neck, ( I’m sure you know all about those) I go to dialysis three days a week and sit for four hours beside this humming machine with a plastic canister attached that looks to me like a refrigerator filter cleaning my blood! I have had cysts in my kidneys all my life and always knew this would be a possible outcome from this disease, but always pushed it to the back of my head thinking “If I don’t think about it it won’t happen”. Well let me tell you, it’s happening and I’m terrified! But let me tell you something else…I’m strong. I have my family helping me. My son,my brother’s and my dad who this time last year I was carting to cardiac rehab. Dad drops me off and says ” looks like the shoes on the other foot!” Then he laughs and then I laugh, (our warped scense of humor). I know I’ll get through this fine, and I know I’ll be okay and each treatment I receive get easier. There is light at the end of this terrifying nightmare and I WILL be alright and I’ve found strengths in my self I didn’t know I had, just like the strengths you had in you to take care of your Buddy and move on through life without him. You are a strong woman and so am I and I WILL get through this and come out stronger! Thank you for the blogs I really enjoy them. Keep on living sister, and pushing through the things that scare you, I’ll keep on pushing through the things that scare me, we all have fears, it’s how we handle them that matters.
Wow!!! Brought tears to my eyes that your family is there for you. Your attitude is great, and you obviously have an amazing heart, and so much life in you. Sounds like you’re not afraid to let it shine! Shine on, Sista.
I grew up on a ranch outside Wichita Falls , Tx . I know you know where that town is located. Lol. Anyway I always had a fear of having to load my horse into the trailer . Over coming your fear is absolutely amazing. I did . Thank LIsa for this blog. I will continue to read each new story. Much love from Texas😘
What inspirational words, Lisa. Thank you. Buddy would be proud of you!!😊
Jackie from South Africa says
I read this the other day: “How later you learned grief and love are partners too. How love held you through grief’s fire.” Made me think of you. Keep on being strong!
I believe Buddy is still there and every time you see some or involved with difficulties, Buddy have a close eye on you to make sure you be safe.
That makes you to think…….”What did I say” & “Its about time”
Getting your girl into the trailer is just an example how you still miss Buddies input.
I would love to be only a day on your Ranch in Sylmar to help out all your chores and work to be done.
We meet us many many years ago in front of your main gate at Kurt st.. It was I think September or October 1984 you sitting with Buddy in a sporty car while I sat on my bike next to the old gate and Patrick saluted me.
Yes, I remember still today the day.
The funny thing was, I tried to drive through to the other side of Kurt st. but there was the sign for sale. The place was empty at the time and I wasn’t sure.
I would love to turn the clock back sometimes.
I love Buddy saluting you. It sound so like him. Best, L
You have an incredible talent to write and to encourage people. Your words are for everyone and they/I feel to try! I Thank you! I have to look from time to time in this blog and see what’s new from you , because you’re simply inspirational.
I am really so honored you think so! Thanx, L
Wow !Amazing! I just need someone to tell me these words, I often male fear overcome me..especially now that I was forced to love in another city For my job leaving My family at home. How hard it is! Lisa thanks Now I am taking a deep breath! Kisses to you and a big Kiss in the sky to Your Buddy.never forgotten.marisa from Italy! Now in Rome!!
Andromahi Dendias says
Thank you! It’s been so long since you’ve written. I missed you! You’re blog always makes me feel better and gives me hope!
Love you and how you reach out to help others Lisa, Patrick is looking down proudly at you x
Elizabeth Billings says
Thank you for sharing! It’s hard to imagine that a person like you would be fearful of anything.
I recently faced one of my fears of leaving family and moving from Indiana to Florida. I have been here a year now and still feel a little panicky sometimes.
You and Patrick obviously complimented each other in life. People search all of their lives and never find that kind of bond. I’m happy you were able to find love again and wish you all the best. I look forward to your next blog.
Ulrich Mayer says
Yes, September is very emotionally month and you only a week shy…
“what did I say” & “it’s about time”.
That will be written in the sky by looking up to your Buddy.
Wishing you all the best and your fears to overcome.
Hah! Maybe I’ll send up balloons to him again this year. This is a hard time of year for me – his birthday, then his death. But we keep going, huh? My best to you – L
So much thankful for your words! You inspired me a lot!
Johanna from Sweden
Hi Lisa , so happy to find a new blog! It is the right blog at the right time. In these days because of My job I was forced to love in another city leaving My family At home! How hard it is! Thinking about My son My daughter and husband so far! I had no choice. I often make fear overcome me! I not s strong woman.. I try but now is harder without the support of My family. I want you to Know that Your blog has given me strengh.. Maybe I am stronger t’han I believe.my husband Always says this to me. Now just Like you I am taking a deep breath…and I am ready to start this new Adventure…no more fears .Besides now I work in Rome..not bad! Kisses to you and a big Kiss to Your Angel in the sky! He ‘s about to celebrate His ribirth in a better place…among all the special People who had gone sway.I wish he could meet My father he was in love with the USA .And altough he was italian , during the fifteen years he spent in the USA he became a real cowboy. He used to say to me “God bless you” everyday, even if we were back to Italy.
Cecilia Johnselius says
Thank you Lisa for sharing your thoughts. I think you are a fantastic and very strong lady. I know some about loss of loved ones (both animal and people) and you are realy encouraging to me and so many other people. I think it is true to all of us that to be brave you first have to know what real fear is. And this I think goes for all kind of areas in life. I am a horsewomen about your age and when I two years ago bought a buckskin filly which was quite wild and totally green. I wasn´t sure I was going to manage to train her without breaking about all the bones in my body. She was realy a hand full and there was no one there to help me. There where many times I was realy terrified but all went well and now this mare is the light in my life who keeps me on my feet when I am depressed. And the whole process with this horse gave me confidence and made me feel more strong. I work daily with people who are incurable ill and know how painful it is for all parts. The trip you did with your late husband is realy something very special, not all are that brave. I think also it is very true what you wrote in your book about that umbrella of love who keeps you safe and ”dry” and it is so difficult to learn to live without it. I also want to thank you for that fantastic song ”Becauese of you” written by Donnie Demer you shared on your twitter a couple of years ago, it gave me hope and helped me to feel thankful to somebody who passed. Wish you all the best! Keep going girl, I am sure your ”Buddy” is watching over you…!
Love from Cecilia in Sweden
Thank you so much for writing, Cecilia. I loved what you said about your buckskin filly, and going from fear, to her being the light of your life. Every time something like that happens, it inspires us to hang in there, and persevere in other areas. Who knows what other gold may be discovered. And I have to say, your filly was probably as frightened as you (or more so), and you gave her a way to move through that to a better life. How wonderful is that! You both discovered together! My best to you, and bravo for the work you do. L
Amy Muiznieks says
My 51 year old cousin in San Antonio,Tx was diagnosed couple weeks ago with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She is a wonderful daughter,sister,wife,mother,kindergarten teacher who loves to laugh and make others laugh. Praying with faith that God can do anything, but I am also scared and terribly sad because I know the statistics. Patrick was first person I thought of when I heard my cousin’s terrible news. I am sorry for your loss and I can imagine that it is still very hard to live without him. God bless and give you comfort and inner strength.
My very best to your cousin in her brave fight. The statistic are dismal, but amazing things happen. And it could for her. If she, or her family hasn’t, they should contact, or go online at PanCan.org . They have incredible information, and also have a program that can help hook your cousin up to the right treatment program. Wishing the best . . . Lisa
Thank you Lisa for sharing your thoughts. I think you are a fantastic and very strong lady. I know some about loss of loved ones (both animal and people) and you are realy encouraging to me and so many other people. I think it is true to all of us that to be brave you first have to know what real fear is. And this I think goes for all kind of areas in life. I am a horsewomen about your age and when I two years ago bought a little buckskin filly which was quite wild and totally green I wasn´t sure I was going to manage to train her without breaking about all the bones in my body. She was realy a hand full and there was no one there to help me. There where many times I was realy terrified but all went well and now this mare is the light in my life who keeps me on my feet when I get depressed. And the whole process with this horse gave me confidence and made me feel more strong. I work with people who are incurable ill and know how painful it is for all parts. The journey you did with your late husband is realy something very special, not all are that brave. I think also it is so true what you wrote in your book about that umbrella of love who keeps you safe and ”dry” and it is so difficult to learn to live without it. I also want to thank you for that fantastic and beautiful song ”Becauese of you” written by Donnie Demer you shared on your twitter a couple of years ago, it gave me hope and helped me to feel thankful to somebody who passed. Wish you all the best! Keep going girl, I am sure your Buddy is watching over you…!
Love from Cecilia in Sweden
ps. What about making a film about his life? Eventually somebody will do it and you are the one who could do it best.
The film would be very interesting!
Grat idea! The only problem is to find an actor talented passionate generous tough enough , Worth performing such a wonderful soul
Heidi Hitsit says
You are every bit the wind of inspiration – probably moreso even – that your husband was to me. Thank you Lisa! I look forward to reading more from you.
Thank you, Heidi. And I’m so glad to hear that Patrick was inspiring to you. I’d like that very much. L
Big fan of you and Buddy, and, as a Boston girl, DePrisco Jewelers!. Love this blog. I lost my beautiful sister Kathy many years ago to cancer, and you have given me insight into the challenges and thoughts that her husband had after she passed. Like you, her husband has remarried to a wonderful person. Life goes on, whether we are ready or not.
Keep up the good work!
P..S – I hate mice, too (Spiders, not so much)!
Lisa thank you so much for your kind and wise words about my beloved buckskin filly (her name is ”Sweet Bambi” by the way), it realy made my day. Love conqeurs fear – right?!
Now I just want to tell you that my heart and my thoughts goes to you tomorrow. You must know that there are so many many people all around the world who always will remember your Patrick for the fantastic work he did and for the amazing person he was. He will never ever be forgotten be sure of that – he is loved by so many! All my love and respect to you – I realy wish for you to find a lot of ”gold” and happiness…
Jackie from South Africa says
Thinking of you today, 14th September. May Patrick’s love continue to inspire and nurture you always. 7 years on – he is still so missed! Strength to you.xxxx
Thinking about you today..seven years.Your love Will reach him with the balloons you are going to send him in the sky.
Romke Kinderman says
Thank you very much for your blog! I love your way of writing! I was and I am a huge fan of Patrick. But to be honest I didn’t know about your existence til two months ago. Two months ago I started watching North and South again. And again I was so impressed by Patrick. I started reading on internet about Patrick and found out that he was married to you and you and Patrick were breeding Arabian horses and I read about your dance career. Then I started watching many videos about Patrick and you about your life, your dancing and your horses. And I am so impressed of all you did together. Then I became so sad that Patrick passed away. I knew he was passed away, but then it touched me so hard. I cried many times.and I cried also because of your grief. I am a farmer in Holland and I know wat it means to love animals. I love my animals to! Lisa, if we were neighbors, I would help you right away to load your horse on the trailer! I can imagine that you miss Patrick every day. I am so proud of you and Patrick that you were married such a long time. That’s very special! Me and my wife are married 17 years. I think we can learn a lot from you! And I am also very proud of you Lisa! you are a strong and wise woman! I’m sure you will handle it. I will try to encourage you. Hold on on Lisa! somebody is watching you, and I pray to God for you that you will find peace in your heart. Thank you for your honesty and your openness! I am looking very much forward to your next blog!
Romke from Holland
PS. I would like to sent you some pictures of my family and my cows. How can I do that?
I’m not sure how you can send pictures. Maybe by messaging me on Facebook? lisaniemiswayze
Ps. Romke, you sound like you’d be a great neighbor! Best, Lisa
VERA RUTE S. SILVA says
SUFFERING HEART IN UNTIL TODAY, PATRICK SWAYZE SAUDADES . REST IN PEACE AND ALSO YOUR HEART IS IN PLAIN PEACE!