Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Brother, My Friend

Hey brother!  It has meant a lot to be able to watch you graduate first from high school at Highland, then college at William and Mary and just this last weekend, to watch you graduate from Duke!  I know how much you gave up to be by my side after my accident and I am so happy that you were able to go back now and get your Masters degree in Marine Environmental Management.  Thank you for never giving up on me, helping me move through my challenges and for having my back! And I would like you to know that no matter what happens, I have always got yours in return!!!!


"You put your life on hold just to sit beside me.
I know you changed your plans, just so your face I'd see.  
Fist bumps, a thumbs up and a hug from you,
No other brother would do the things you do!

Go Karts and bicycles.  Four wheelers and running shoes.
Snowboards and on the backs of horses we flew.  
Like the Dukes of Hazzard, we were brothers on the run.
My brother, my friend, when it rains, 
You bring the sun."

- Dukes of Hazzard by Forrest and Tom

Martin was the first CCI dog to walk in a Duke graduation -
and he got his own hood for his Masters degree in "Sleeping Through Class"! 

Monday, May 9, 2016


What an incredible organization Canine Companions for Independence is!  CCI provides such amazing life changing service dogs like Toliver. And provides wonderful opportunities for people to help another person in need of that special friend by raising a puppy, like Austin is raising Martin, for CCI. 

Last weekend we traveled to Richmond for a CCI puppy workshop for Martin and where Toliver reunited with his fabulous puppy raiser Colleen.  

Forrest got to show his appreciation
for Colleen too!

We learned a lot working with the professional CCI trainers and by connecting with other puppy raisers. 

Back in Middleburg the next day we attended the Middleburg point-to-point races with some of our local CCI friends.  CCI provides puppy raisers and graduates with an incredibly supportive community of like-minded, caring, and compassionate dog lovers...

Who also enjoy cheering for the race horses!

On Mother's Day our good friend Marcia took us flyfishing on the north fork of the Thorton River.  When Marcia first put a fly rod in your hand, Forrest you were barely talking and still confined to your wheelchair. 

Yesterday you had plenty to say and you hiked right into the middle of the stream  with Marcia! 

Pops, the avid photographer, caught this great picture of Toliver, off duty and thoroughly enjoying his own R&R just being a regular Labrador! Not a care in the world, chasing sticks and running circles through the stream!

It was a Mother's Day prayer fulfilled, watching you fish in the stream, reveling in the sunshine, the rippling water, the fresh Spring air and your growing health. Precious moments. Life is so fragile, so uncertain. We give thanks for each precious moment. 

God bless,