Lisa passed away last night [9/3/19] in my arms, surrounded by family.
She lived her life totally, totally committed. The first time I saw it it was to our relationship even though that was only days old. It was frightening, until I reminded myself that totally committed is really the only way I want to live.
The second time was on a mountain bike. She just kept going over the handlebars getting bloody from the rocks she landed on and the bike as it landed on her until she made it.
The third time was also on a mountain bike. She rode a very difficult section of trail where one side fell away to an almost vertical cliff some 50 feet high. She just didn't blink an eye despite the very obvious risk. What this is totally committed to is life – even if it means your life.
The forth time was when she was diagnosed with cancer. She cried a little for how it would affect me and her family. But she didn't cry at all about dying; she wasn't afraid of that at all. That's totally committed to life – you spend every moment in grateful joy, instead of misery over what has already been decided.
The last time was during last visit with her oncologist before taking her very last round of chemo a few months ago. He asked what she wanted for the rest of her life. She paused and slowly said: “In this last phase of my life, the only thing I want is to help people get the kind of wellness I know how to provide, through horses, art, and yoga.”
Lisa had dedicated her entire life to teaching others through horses. And having either watched or participated (as a side walker) in many of the lessons Lisa taught, I'd see her student get something more than the riding lesson, it had transcended the riding lesson in some way. It happened as if by magic.
Wellness, for the most part, is getting the most out the life we have. Lisa got that through horses and through helping others. It was easy to see her commitment because she didn’t changed one thing from the day she was diagnosed until the day she passed. She committed to building an organization that could do that for others consistently and safely, and cost effectively. There's a handful of ways you can help. Donating is one way. A planned gift is another way. Ultimately, the dollar value is not the important thing, simply being committed to helping others is. If you can join Lisa in that, White Horse Wellness Center will be a success.