Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update and a Wonderful Surprise!

8:45am Tuesday, May 20th
I have been busy with follow up appointments for daughter Laine and keeping the barn people happy while we are on the mend. Laine is looking much better as swelling is going down and she is able to shower, dress and walk about a half mile on her own! She complains of pain in her jaw and back but the meds seem to help take the edge off. Now the 'baton' will be handed over to a friend of ours, Dr. Marc Warner, whom is a vascular surgeon and will coordinate follow up visits with specialists. Dr. Talton, DDS. has taken Laine under his wing and promises to give her that white beaming smile back when the wires are taken off and she is able to "open" her mouth for repair procedures. Laine has all of her teeth but her bite is off and some of her front teeth have roots exposed due to the injury. Time will tell if these will be problem areas but Dr. Talton assures everything is 'fixable.' We have had such an incredible support system with doctors and friends.....right from the beginning! Our neighbors have brought over scrumptious meals.....home cooked....that even I fight over to get my hands on before Laine!!!! Who cares if they are 'mandatory' straw meals......they are DELICIOUS!! We have so much to be thankful for......and being home.....it seems the second wave of loving support has 'unfurled.'
We are trying to get Mazetto. I guess he misses Laine and though he is in a lovely pasture with "Dan"...Winsome Adante, everyone there says he needs to be back with Laine. I could not agree more and so we are on a mission to try to bring him to Crow's Ear Farm and that infamous stall #2. I will keep all of you updated on our progress. Laine has already spoken of Fair Hill *** in October and her
2 rides there with Alex and Eric!!!! I so much feel a gray hair coming on to add to my Bonnie Rait collection!!!! I am so proud of her and the 'pioneering' spirit Laine possesses. Her happiness is what I want most. And like her coach Buck....this passion for riding runs deep in her blood. I will support her. Valerie Dorice Ashker

So the Surprise???!!

May I introduce the young, amazingly talented, beautiful & bright, intellectual, UVA graduate, courageous and brave-hearted epitome of "warrior mentality"
Laine Evion Ashker!

Hello everyone
I know it's probably seemed like an eternity since I've last written, however, in my defense, my life has seemed much like a whirlwind recently. First and foremost I need to express my thank you's. The first people on my list have to be my parents and my close family (this includes you Brandon), which most of you have already pointed out in all of the lovely cards that have been sent. Throughout this terrible nightmare, my parents have been like steadfast pillars, unwavering in the turbulent winds that have been heading our direction. I have been so proud of them because instead of giving up and panicking through this situation, they've become stronger and allowed me, the one who supposedly never shows her weaknesses, have a rest and shed many tears on their shoulders. Next, I would love to thank all of the horse and non-horsey people alike, who have expressed their support through flowers, emails, gifts, telephone calls, letters, or words. Let me tell you that these things, although perhaps nnot outwardly, have really aided my healing as it is nice to hear there are people on my side, hoping my recovery is a speedy one. Lastly, I would like to thank those who have been writing/saying terrible things about Frodo and I to the public: you have once, again inspired me to rise about the standard of expectation. It's funny because whenever Buck told me that it was impossible to do something (ie: make the optimum time on a xc course), it gave me such a huge push to strive for it even more! Thus, I hope at Fairhill later this year, I will prove you all wrong. That's all I have to say about that....moving on.
Life since I have been home has been pretty slow going, which for us eventers, is the hardest type to deal with. I have had an abundance of visitors which has been nice because it keeps my mind moving on, and not dwelling on what happened nearly three weeks ago. This has been, by far, the toughest thing I have had to deal with. I would like to say that at the age 24, I have many more years to live so there will be even more difficult times that lay ahead, but if that were to be the case, and if I really believed that, I think I would have given up a while ago in the UK hospital. Losing Frodo has completely turned my world upside down. Frodo was not only my best horse, but my best friend, the horse I wanted to see first when my beloved Jamie passed last year. He embodies everything I want to be. So, losing him has caused a lot of suffering and pain that I am sure wont be healed long after the rest of my body does. On a brighter note, it was so nice to see how he affected other people's lives as well. Many strangers wrote just to say he was the most beautiful horse they'd ever seen, or because of his history with the movie
Lord of the Rings, people who don't even watch the sport tuned in to see him. I must say that I was lucky to have had him for the 8 years I did.
So, what lay ahead for me? My plan is to be back riding sooner than later...DUH! The only thing really holding me back are my ribs because whenever mom is driving and there is a bump in the road this terrible pain shoots down my back...so that is a bit problematic. I have to speak with Buck about a schedule but since I missed Jersey Fresh with Al, I plan on doing Fairhill with him. If I should find my beloved Mazetto back in my barn before then, I'll plan to bring him there as well. I also plan on teaching as soon as my wires come off of my teeth. I taught mom a lesson on Alex the other day, but because my mouth is wired shut, the volume of my voice is quite low which makes it difficult for anyone who lacks a bit in the hearing department.
So my Olympic dream for this year has officially been eradicated. However, I wish those who travel to China the best of luck and I have all my faith bestowed in the fact that the US is more than ready to bring home a few gold medals. I am thankful that I got the chance to go over last year, which eases the disappointment a little. Next goal for me? World Games in Lexington in 2010 and London in 2012. I want to thank all of you for being so supportive and kind to my mom and I in this time of need. You will see me back in the saddle sooner than later. I look forward to seeing all of you at the shows. Please keep my Frody in your hearts and minds as you ride as I know I will for the rest of my life. Thank you so much! Until next time, shoulders back, leg on, and chin up!