Thinking of Ray Hunt

by T.J. Vietor

In early March of this year 2009, I  began thinking of Ray Hunt. And I don't mean just thinking about him. Thoughts of Ray would not leave me alone. I woke up thinking about him. He called to me all day. I fell asleep with Ray on my mind. I remember thinking, "I wonder what is going on with Ray and Carolyn. I wonder where they are -- Idaho, Alaska, Texas, California...? I really need to find out how they are and if everything is going okay.

I did nothing about my feelings in the way of tracking Ray and Carolyn down. Gradually those intense thoughts of Ray, and oh, so many memories, dimmed, and I continued on with my life and thought no more about it.
 
Then in mid-April a friend came into my workplace and with sincerity said, "Say, it sure was too bad about Hunt dying, huh?" I asked her to repeat what she said because I did not want to believe what I was hearing. The poor lady had no idea what she was doing to me and proceeded to tell me again what I was sure I would never have to hear. It is funny how some people mean so much to us that we just can't imagine them ever going on. They are just supposed to live forever. They are not supposed to age or become infirm or ever be anything but the conquering heroes they have always been to us.
 
A part of me was forever changed on that day, and I learned a valuable lesson. If someone won't leave your consciousness and keeps calling out to you, give them a call or find them or write a note or something. It is a very real thing when the "spirit' moves you. Act on it.

Some years ago a soul mate was part of my life and he always used to say, "TJ, we don't need the telephone to communicate." We always knew when one was feeling for the other. Very much like when we feel for our horse, he feels for us, then we both feel together. Same thing.
 
My feelings about Ray were always about the horses and what he could teach me, as I was so hungry to know. As a young woman of thirty years when we met, I was at once humbled and depressed because I had thought I at least knew something about a horse. That first clinic taught me otherwise. I learned that I didn't know jack about much at all, and that I had so much to learn. I was so embarrassed that my poor gelding had his head on upside down and I didn't even know it. Ray politely told me that my horse would be much more attractive and a much prettier mover if we could turn that neck over!! Duh!!
 
At any rate, what I am trying to say, I guess is this: when someone is calling to you, don't ignore it. Reach out to them; answer. Years without seeing or talking to someone means nothing if you are connected by that silk thread that is stronger than any chain. I will always regret not doing something to find Ray and Carolyn last March. But I guess it is best this way. I would like to think that Ray knows how I feel about everything. My heart tells me he does. And perhaps if I had found him I would have stumbled over my words and not been able to say the right things. I don't think any of us who love him are able to find the words to express how he has impacted our lives.

Ray Hunt is the hero of my life. Not only did he teach me about the horse - he helped me raise my children, and he guides my thoughts and my actions daily in my interactions with my fellow human beings. He will always have an influence on me and be a part of me and the person I am becoming. To have him reach out to me as he did when he was preparing to pass to the other side is the most beautiful, precious, and humbling thing I could ever hope to have happen to me.
 
Thank you for everything, my friend. God speed.

TJ Vietor
 

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