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Chandra's Blog


Entries in father (1)


Someone to watch over me (Happy Father's Day)

A few years ago, not long after my father died, a horse I was riding fell during a canter transition. I remember it vividly--we were on a counterclockwise circle, and suddenly, I looked, and there was the ground. In the hundredths of a second to assess, I realized my left leg, which was under the horse, was still in the stirrup, which meant when he came up, if I came off and he ran, I could be dragged. I could not fall off. As I pushed my left hand into the cinders of the arena, inches from my face, to stay with the horse as he struggled up, the Carpe Diem bracelet my mom gifted us to wear in honor of our father came into perfect focus. 



Stay with me, Dad, I whispered as I threw my right arm over the horse's neck to haul myself up with him as he scrambled to his feet. 

Dad stuck with me and I stayed on, and mercifully, the horse, equally rattled by the experience, stood shakily on all four legs when we were all upright again. 


Cue my superstition that I always had to wear this bracelet, not just when riding horses, but at all times, to bring my guardian angel with me. Hayden facing a dicey surgery or complication? Carpe Diem bracelet. Big interview for a promotion? Check. Long drive at night while battling exhaustion? Wouldn't leave home without it. My middle son says he can always hear me around the house by the jingling of my bangles--he says he likes it.

But as much comfort as it brings me to have a symbol that my Dad is close to me, a bracelet is not a practical accoutrement for my current hobbies--rockclimbing with Piper or training my new young horse. 

I have an older brother not many people who grew up with me know about. I actually have two of them, and a sister, from my father's first marriage. My "Southern Siblings" are lovely and I adore them. A quick browsing of my oldest brother's social media would tell you that there are many years, several thousand miles and lots of clicks on the political spectrum that separate us. However, we are bonded over mutually inherited traits passed on by our father--a deep love of animals, fierce loyalty to family, commitment to a long term love story, and a moral compass towards right and fair. 

Last year, when all 8 siblings decided to honor Dad's wishes and finally scatter his ashes off Seven Mile Beach and the North Wall in Grand Cayman, this brother had necklaces made for us all that contain a small portion of our father's ashes. 

Max, scattering Petah's ashes Jan 1 2019


Today, on Father's Day, I am grateful both to my brother for creating this new token of my guardian angel, and for my Dad, who got up early with me, sang along to Willie Nelson, and rode with me in the fields, just over my heart. 


Phoenix. me and Dad, early morning ride