The Guide Horse Story - Caring for our Life's Partner
- Published on Thursday, 18 December 2008 21:16
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
© - 2008 – Stanton O. Berg
If one were to travel up any rural road, one might find a fenced field and green meadows with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like every other horse. But if one were to stop the car to look, or is walking by, one might notice something quite amazing. These may be a pair of very special horses!
Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that HE is blind. HIS owner has chosen not to have HIM put down, but has made a good home for HIM. This alone is somewhat amazing.
Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from another horse in the field, a mare. Attached to HER bridle or simply around HER neck is a small bell. It lets HER blind friend know where SHE is, so HE can follow HER or find HER.
As one stands and watches these two animal friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.
When the mare with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that her blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owner of these two horses, God does not abandon us just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or medical challenges.
God watches over us and brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by a guide horse that God has placed in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse that God has placed in the lives of others needing our help...Husbands and wives frequently find themselves in the position of these two amazing horses...we see husbands and wives in human Guide Horse stories all the time when Alzheimer's becomes a member of a family...
When I first read a story about "Guide" horses, I was struck by how such a relationship could have and frequently is the comparable story of a husband and a wife during times of intense health and care-giving situations. When I first read about "Guide" horses I did not recall the gender of the horses being mentioned...to me however this seemed to be a natural and to be right and appropriate...accordingly when I wrote the above "Guide" horse story, I assigned male and female genders to the horses!...My photo illustration was a photo I found online with no restrictions on usage...I have no idea if the photo was a "Guide" horse illustration or just a coincidence of a horse with a bell for the owners convenience...
Husbands and wives in the role of caregivers are all guide horses, that God has commissioned to care for our life’s marriage partners...
”in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part!”
I am convinced that God placed me in June's life to care for her knowing that she would be overcome by Alzheimer's. God gave me a life's calling far better than any I have ever had. I have not always done the best, but I have tried. June first helped me to see God. Then I later became June's guide horse for as long as God permitted me to do so. June passed away on October 23rd, 2008 after almost 12 weary years of struggling with Alzheimer's. She was and always will be the light and love of my life. There will never be another to take her place. June was that once in a lifetime find...This guide horse story was prepared and published on June's web site just two (2) months after her passing.
Stan's Photo Notes
Photo below was taken by Jim Gehrz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on October 31st, 2007 and published on 24 November 2007. "Stan and June: To have and to hold for 55 Years." Picture was taken at the Benedictine Health Care Center at Innsbruck, New Brighton, MN. The photo is candid and not posed and was taken by Jim Gehrz on a return trip that day. This scene is in the little Holy Spirit Chapel immediately in front of the alter. I would usually arrive at the nursing home at 9:00 AM in the morning and take over the responsibility for June's care for the day...following the brunch period, June and I would go down to the beautiful little Chapel and spend some time in the quiet solitude...frequently dozing off as we did here...the reflections of the stained glass side windows can be seen on the floor!
God prepared a place for June and brought her home almost exactly one year later. John 14:2 (KJV):
"In my father's house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you..."
(Holy Spirit Chapel, The Benedictine - October 2007)
Claire J. Young - Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (19 July 2012): "This is so beautiful."
Amy Stiel Almas - Waterford, Michigan - (26 January 2013): "... bless your...for making such a difference in the world."
Michele Christie - Cullowhee,North Carolina - (26 January 2013): "What a great story...also saw the picture of you and June in the chapel at the nursing home. That is a great, natural shot of you two."
After battling Alzheimer's for almost 12 years, an exhausted June was finally called home by God on October 23rd, 2008. Her funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website under the "In Memoriam" label - Click on:
June's Favorite Home
For the story of June’s favorite home at 6025 Gardena Lane and the poem I wrote about this home during a day of deep sadness, click on the below link: This was June’s home for almost 40 years. It was constructed shortly after the previous home was severely damaged in a tornado. 6025 Gardena Lane was the first home the June participated in the selection and purchase of a lot on a small hill, helped with the design of the home and watched it being constructed. 6025 Gardena Lane had a special place in her heart.