An excellent equestrian, Ronda loved horses as much as she loved life itself. She and Clabber had made it to the World Show on their own hard work with the help of two local trainers who saw and understood the rare talent Ronda possessed.

Now, it was 1998 and Clabber was still here. 23 years old and just as ready to take off and effortlessly carry Ronda over jumps as he was back in '84. They had been the
team to watch. No doubt Clabber would recognize her immediately. I couldn't help but smile, knowing within a few short hours Ronda and Clabber would be galloping off to the back 50 acres in glee, trying as they always had, to outrun the wind.

Freeman honked the horn, breaking my reverie. It was 12:20 p.m. We had lots of time -- five minutes to the airport, ten minutes to find a place to park and 10 minutes to the arrival gate. Twenty-five minutes before I would hold my first-born, my only daughter, my pal.



I glanced in the mirror. I had taken great pains to get my makeup just right. My hair was fixed and I had even done my nails. Ronda was such a nail freak. She was always fussing at me to fix myself up. She complained I worked too hard, that I should pack up Freeman and Gramma and move close to her, where she could take care us. I was so lucky to have Ronda. We had always been so close, sharing our love of horses, our love of life.
Ronda would only be able to stay five days at most but
they would be wonderful days despite the reason for her visit. She needed time to get her thoughts together. Her husband of less than a year had been having an affair with his ex-wife and had asked for a divorce. In a long phone conversation the night before, Ronda had told me she could walk away from the marriage but she couldn't just walk away
with nothing.

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