Sunday, April 13, 2008
In Honor of Terry DuBois
It was the Public Hours Saturday in March. A spirited but composed woman approached me and asked, "Are you Sandy? I'm Diane DuBois." My heart swelled at the sight of her! I did not know her nor had I known her husband, but we three are linked by a common purpose and the compassions in our hearts - we rescue.
Diane's husband and the love of her life, Terry, has recently passed away. When she speaks of him, Diane's face changes and she straightens her shoulders a little bit more and her smile is huge and tender. These two people loved each other, that is plain. A real, genuine, heart-based love. The kind of love we all dream of. The kind of love we all search for. These two loved that way.
What transpired next seems almost like a dream. Please read on to see how Diane is carrying Terry's Spirit with her, how she is continuing the work the two of them began together, and to see how a connection between Terry and Diane and Refuge Farms now exists...
Terry and I had been together 21 years after meeting at the Sheriff's office where we both worked. We realized right away that we were both huge animal lovers and dreamed about a home in the country where we could make a home for ourselves and have lots of animals.
We didn't want to go out and buy animals or get them from breeders. We wanted to rescue animals that were not being taken care of. We wanted to be the last home that they had to go to and, like yourself, we promised each one that they would never go hungry, never be abused, and we would help them die with dignity.
In 1993 we got our wish and bought 10 acres of land in Martell and built a big pole barn which we insulated and heated. And then we built our home! We started with 2 horses, 3 adult cats that we already had, and a pregnant cat that we rescued when she was hanging around the courthouse where I work, obviously without a home.
Terry was a big, strong cop with a heart of gold. He LOVED cats which for a guy is kind of odd - they usually like dogs. Seeing Terry holding a little kitten in his big hands was priceless. As you can imagine, the word soon was out and people started calling us to be the new home for their unwanted pets.
One very fortunate thing in our lives was that my daughter married a veterinarian. God does help those that are doing something good for the world. So every animal we have gotten gets spayed or neutered for Zero Population Growth.
Currently, I have lots of cats - all fixed and living the good life. I also have 3 horses - one is a rescue racehorse, 3 pygmy goats, 1 angora goat, 1 sheep, and 2 llamas. They have all come with different stories but they are all fat and happy now.
But then my life had to take a new path after losing Terry to a fatal sudden heart attack. I thank God daily for the love we had for each other and the wonderful things that we accomplished together. I will continue to take comfort in my animals and keep our farm going. I have faith, family, and friends to help me go on.
So, after I have rambled... The connection here is that Terry and I joined the Blue Knights a few years before he died. Many a time we would ride Highway 29 and would comment about your "Refuge Farms" and say that it reminded us of ourselves. We always admired anyone that would give of themselves to help animals.
When the Blue Knights approached me about the idea to have a memorial ride for Terry, they asked me where I would want the proceeds to go. At first I thought Mayo Clinic because Terry had also dealt with Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, for the last 7 years and Mayo had done so much to bring awareness and treatments in the recent years for this type of cancer. But then I thought the ride was local we should give to someone local.
So God spoke to me and I thought of you and your farm and even without knowing who you were or what type of place you had I felt it would be a good place to donate to. And after seeing your farm and meeting you and your great "herd" I am totally convinced this is a great place for the proceeds to go.
I am looking forward to getting to know you better, sharing stories, and supporting each other in our quest to help animals. My blessings go out to you and your staff for all the great work you do.
We will talk again soon!
They say the miracles are in the small things. A gentle hand helping a stranger. A smile to someone in pain. And a gift of yourself to someone you don't even know. Diane is just that miracle to Refuge Farms. I am honored and humbled by her generosity. And I must admit, I am selfishly excited to get to know her and share stories, share worries, and share our victories in this world of rescue.
The day of the Terry DuBois Memorial Motorcycle Rally is Saturday, May 17th. Diane has offered Refuge Farms the opportunity to set up at the rally and tell people what we do and how we do it. We also will be serving food to all of those hungry bikers! I can hardly wait!
The Blue Knights is a non-profit fraternal organization consisting of active and retired law enforcement men and women who enjoy riding motorcycles. They work long and hard and raise money for various charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, and Relay for Life. This Motorcycle Rally is to celebrate their brother, Terry DuBois. In my brief meeting of two of the members, I can feel the closeness of this organization. The best way I can describe the feeling is to tell you the Blue Knights appears to be a brotherhood. Family. They care and take care of each other. They are a "herd" just like The Herd.
So join us, won't you? Come and share in the spirit of the brotherhood of the Indianhead Blue Knights, Chapter III. Come and meet Diane for yourself! And come and celebrate the man for which we honor on that day, Terry DuBois.
Thank you, Diane, for reaching out and impacting the life of these horses and the Humans that come to learn of trust and respect and forgiveness and joy from them. Bless you, Diane, for continuing the life of a rescuer. I am humbled by your generosity and inspired by your courage and perseverance.
The miracles are in the small things. Small things make all the difference in our world.
Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd