Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rest easy, dear friend

Big boys don't cry, supposedly.  If that's the case, I'm afraid that I've gone back to the nursery this week.  I've spent all too many hours over the past couple of days going about my business with tears running down my cheeks, just as they are now.  All's been grand, and we've been had a couple of lovely days, filled with truly glorious sunshine after frosty starts.  But yesterday's sunshine lost all of its joy while I was riding out third lot yesterday morning when I was hit by the ultimate bolt from the blue.  My phone rang, with the name Carol Whitwood appearing on the screen.  But it wasn't Carol: it was her son James, showing all of the fortitude, kindness and consideration which he has inherited from his parents, calling to give me the worst possible news that his mother Carol had passed away over the weekend.

Carol has been coming here pretty much every Tuesday morning for the past 20 years to help me by detecting and healing problems with the horses' backs.  She has simultaneously been bringing the regular doses of joy and moral support which one can only receive from someone who is both an exceptionally kind person and a true friend.  She was not due to be here this Tuesday (ie today) as she and Martin were going to be going to Hever Castle Hotel in Kent to celebrate their wedding anniversary (I have a feeling that it was going to be their 50th, but I could be wrong) so when she was here last Tuesday she left with a cheery, "Good luck if you run at Wolverhampton (where Kilim, whom she has treated a few times, runs on Friday) next week, and I'll see you in two weeks' time."  The sudden discovery that not only will I not see her next week, but will never see her again, really was as stark a bolt from the blue as one could ever receive.

Anyone who knows me will have been bored stiff all too often by my accounts of the magic worked on horses in this stable by what the late Leslie Harrison once described to me as "the genius of Carol Whitwood".  They will also be aware that Carol has been much more than 'merely' a massive help in the training of these horses, and a true friend to the horses whom she has helped: she has been a true friend to me, a rock-solid and unflinching source of kindness, wise counsel and gifts.  Losing her as a friend has hit me for six, so I can only imagine how devastated Martin, James, David and the rest of the family must be to lose her as wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.  I offer them my deepest condolences, and I so appreciate James' thoughfulness and kindness in ringing to let me know.

Rest in peace, dear Carol.  You are much missed.  You will be never forgotten, and always loved.


Jason Coote said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss. Condolences to family and friends.

Ewelina Galecka said...

It such a sad news. Carol not only was a great with horses but she never say no to us stable staff when we have our back problems. Sleep tight Carol you will be hugely missed by lot of people.