It has been such a touching weekend…but I must say in so many different ways. Life has a way of being like this. There were 2 birthdays I honored…My dear pal, Charles, here at the farm and my owner’s wonderful MOM, Jean. Then MY JOHN and Dottie attended their niece’s wedding celebration and it was all so special.
On the horse front, BLACK CAVIAR won #19…. ANIMAL KINGDOM won his comeback race with style, and some very impressive 3 year olds celebrated victories around the country. All of this so much fun to watch and enjoy!
Then, on our Zenyatta. com home front, our dear KARI BUSSELL, one of my most loving and endearing fans passed away on February 17th. Her daughter let all of us know by posting on the site….and so many have responded with love and heartfelt sympathy.
I did meet KARI and would like to share with you some of her words that she shared with our friend, Steve Haskin. Steve sent them to Dottie over the weekend.
The photo above is very significant as standing by this fence at Churchill Downs the Sunday after Breeders’ Cup in 2010 is where I first met her. At this time, she knew she was very ill. This heart was made that day by fans for ME. I am sharing it with KARI, her family, and all of you this morning along with some of her OWN WORDS all written at that time.
“I try to find joy (Zenyatta gives me much) and pretend this (illness) is not happening, if that makes sense. I love to laugh. Just so you know on Sunday afternoon….I was making my husband go back to Churchill Downs to see the Barbaro statue. I am an avid (horse racing) fan. Okay, so in looking for Churchill Downs to see Barbaro we got lost and there SHE was. It still blows my mind how that happened. “
“It is really Zenyatta’s story. I thank God for her, Mr. Shirreffs (my hero), Dottie, The Moss’ and all of them. I love them all for their love and care for Z and all horses. Frank is the one I hold very dear. He was the one who made it happen. I picked up leaves, a stick, and an acorn from the spot it happened. I only need to look at them or shut my eyes and joy runs through my veins.”
“He made sure I got to feel Zenyatta’s right ear graze my fingertip through the fence. It was very emotional for me. He teared up watching me. It was the highlight of my life. My dying wish was to just touch her once. I know in my heart she is the reason I am still alive today and have thus far defied the odds and what Doctors told me. She inspired me to never give up. Plus I refused to go anywhere until her story was finished. I am terminally ill and want to write to him (Frank) and tell him what that meant to me and thank him.”
As you can see from Kari’s words, I have been extremely blessed to be around so many loving and giving people. She goes on to say how so many people were there on that Sunday afternoon and I even had a cake sent to ME over the fence. So many memories…so many treasured moments…so many wonderful people.
I would like KARI’S FAMILY to know from the bottom of my heart, how much all of her kind words, love, and respect means to ME and MY TEAM. We will definitely THANK FRANK AGAIN for his thoughtfulness and helping to make something very special happen for KARI on that November day in 2010!
Hugs to all~ (Blessings to KARI and HER FAMILY!)