Windchill’s memory…remembering…

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on February 28th, 2013

Hi friends,

This is way late in coming. We just finished a Windchill Legacy board meeting. It’s 7pm on the anniversary of Windchill’s passing. As many of you will recall he passed away on February 29, 2008 – he found a way to make that day his own, just as he took a word that defines cold, wind chill,  and made it a warm place in all of our hearts.  Tonight his quiet resolve, determination, and that playful sometimes mischievous and always loving spirit he had will be remembered by people across this land. I haven’t had the time I would’ve liked to post and remember his memory. I think he’d understand. I’ve been busy working with the publisher of his upcoming book. We had all hoped to have a book cover design ready to show you, unfortunately everything is still being tweaked. The manuscript is in the design and layout stage, the pictures have all been chosen, quotes from reviewers have been selected and the narrative for the front and back cover are finished – lots of moving pieces to this book process! In the end hopefully this book will honor his memory, tell his story, and move people to want to end abuse and neglect in all its forms. One person at a time we can end the cycle and we can all make a difference. I learned that from a little 9 month old colt who touched the world and gave us all a little bit of hope back. Rest in peace little man. And know that we still believe.

Love,

Jeff Tucker

Windchill’s dad

Holy smokes you guys!

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on February 1st, 2013

How long has it been? I’ve gotten so busy with things like writing Windchill’s book that I’d forgotten to come back here and update you on life in general! I’m so sorry. How are you all doing? Is anybody even visiting? I’m betting I know a couple of people who do regularly…  But for those friendly and nice – tell me what you’ve been up to?

Me? Well…writing the book. Received a couple of awards at work – Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, Top 23 Names in Healthcare… bought a new place. It’s a beautiful log home overlooking rolling hills filled with oak and maple trees and a 48 x 96 foot barn that has room for all my dreams and more! I get plenty of exercise chopping wood for the outdoor wood furnace and the indoor wood stove. Stepping into the place is like walking into a warm hug – it’s wonderful!

That’s all I have time for for now. I’ll try and get some pictures uploaded here soon. Hope all is well friends!

Regards,

Jeff

WOOHOO!

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on June 4th, 2012

Summer is pretty much here! It’s been an awesome start with my youngest graduating last Friday, family parties, and some big changes ahead. Life sure takes you in lots of new directions, doesn’t it? Loving the ride! Hope you’re having a great start to your Summer.

Jeff

Windchill remembered…February 29th approaches…

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on February 27th, 2012

February 27, 2012: February 29th will mark 4 years since Windchill’s last day among us. I know people will be lighting candles in his memory all over the country and we’ll all remember the little guy’s resolve, his gentle spirit, his quiet (and sometimes not so quiet!) faith in all of us and the friends he made all over the country and in fact, the world. I’ve had the honor of being around a lot of animals of different types over the years – lots and lots of horses in the past couple. Some have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and I can’t wait to see them again. Each leaves an indelible mark on our soul – even the small ones, like the kittens I’d come to love and have lost. Crash I still miss your little ‘tude, so laid back, you always made me laugh. If I needed to find you I just looked for Halo and there you were.
Windchill really changed things. He changed me. I remember the day-to-day crap from prior to meeting him, and how different things are after being near his soul. Who would’ve guessed so much spirit could be placed inside a frail, 9 month old body. So much personality, so much faith, so much forgiveness. We can all learn from that can’t we. Love, laugh, whinny a friendly hello or reminder that you want your hay NOW, and don’t let your circumstances drag you down. And that there’s friends waiting to be met, you just have to open the door to your heart and let them in.
The world became a smaller place – and a brighter one. While Windchill was re-learning how to stand, we were re-learning to believe, and re-learning what it was like to be young again. Remember when you were little – all those ‘strangers’ on the playground were just friends waiting to be met, new names to add to your friendship listing. Strangers far and wide were drawn to a little 9 month old’s colt struggle and he was never alone again. Neither were any of us.
Windchill slipped quietly into the beyond February 29th, 2008, as surprised as we were. I remember the night today as clear as the night it happened. Stepping out into the clear, cold night for his last check of the night and that feeling that something wasn’t right. Walker slipped out of the garage, confirming the feeling. Walker was with Windchill all the time. Racing to the barn, opening the door and no whinny. There was always a whinny when we walked through that door. And knowing. Knowing before I opened that stall door. Burying my face in his neck, still warm. How peaceful he was. No struggles. Still under his blankets, head resting on the towels. Wondering whether to tell Kathi then or let her sleep. Walking slowly back to the house, waking her up to tell her Windchill was “gone.” Her bolting upright, asking where…the death threats, etc. had become part of our reality, so her first assumption was he had been taken…explaining he had passed away. Watching as the scene I had just lived was re-lived – her throwing the door open, calling to him. Checking him. Then holding him. She confirmed he hadn’t suffered. Needing to know the same thing…was he under stress in his final moments, did he suffer and finding some peace in how he drifted off never to wake up.
Neither of us slept that night. I spent my night researching everything I could find on neglect, starvation, abuse looking for a reason, something we’d missed, something we could’ve done to change the outcome. She spent her night knowing we hadn’t. At 4:30am I’d come to the same point. By 5am I wrote the announcement to the world that would never be printed. It was too filled with anguish. Kathi re-wrote it by 7am. An hour or so later the world would share the pain and join the hell that had been ours for the previous night. I would have to relive the same feelings as visitor after visitor arrived that morning to see the little guy, not having seen the blog post from that morning. The same disbelief. The same look of shock. Then the tears. By mid-day I was numb, exhausted, drained, lost.
4 years later and I can feel all of that like it was this morning. 4 years later and it was just last night wasn’t it? That’s why I hadnt’t read the blogs in detail until I started your book last year. I haven’t looked at the pictures in the photo directory on my computer from February though March, 2008 until I posted my archive online not long ago. Pictures never seen finally shown the light of day again.
I’ve finished the book finally, Windchill. It will tell the world your story and what’s happened since that time — the magic continues, your spirit lives on in the re-telling by volunteers who remember to people eager to learn. Kids, adults, senior citizens… Your torch and memory were carried on the shoulders of a little horse appropriately named Magic to literally thousands of people each year and will be again. There’s been good, there’s been bad since you were last here with your head on our knee in a stall on a bed of straw, pushing yourself in circles around your stall driving us crazy as we restored order to the chaos you created in there. Laughing at the brightness in your eyes. Today we laugh, and sometimes cry, in your memory. Even more love you now than even then, amazing huh? God bless a little 9 month old colt who taught us to believe again in humanity. Thank you Windchill, from the bottom of all our hearts. We miss you.
Dad
(Jeff Tucker, Raindance Farms, LLC)
 
PS – for those lighting candles in Windchill’s honor, please email me a picture and I’ll try to get them uploaded on a special page here and on his forum:
jeff @ raindancehorses.com

February 29th..a very special day…the 4th anniversary of Windchill’s passing

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on February 26th, 2012

I can’t believe it’s February again. And this one’s a special one as you guys all know – it’s the true 4th anniversary of Windchill’s passing with a February 29th in it.

Many of us are planning remembrances of the little guy – many are lighting candles in his honor. If you do light candles in his honor, could you please take a picture and send it to us so that we can post. We’ll be posting the pics on the Raindance site and possibly on the forum if I can find a volunteer to help with that – I have never successfully posted pictures on here that I can remember!

You can email the pictures to me: jeff@raindancehorses.com and I’ll try to get them loaded as they come in but I can’t promise for sure because of the intermittent internet at the place I live currently. If not, I will get them uploaded in the next day or two to show you all each other’s memorial candles.

Your friend,

Jeff Tucker

President Jefferson said it best to those without the pride or desire to become self sufficient and depend on hard working folks like me to support them…

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on November 6th, 2011

“The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work
and give to those who would not.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Wow. Some very good reading.

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on October 5th, 2011

Some very interesting reading. This may help some who don’t understand what’s occurring with someone they think they know.

Woohoo!

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on October 5th, 2011

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. (C. Achebe)

Hello my friends

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on October 4th, 2011

Integrity can be neither lost nor concealed nor faked nor quenched nor artificially come by nor outlived, nor, I believe, in the long run, denied. (Eudora Welty)

Howdy friends!

Written by Jeffrey L Tucker on October 3rd, 2011

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. (K. Nair)