I’ve known Camey’s parents for many years and through them I got to know her. Age wise, I am right in the middle of mother and daughter. Poet Rod McKuen wrote, “I might have been a better friend if I hadn’t trusted time.” And perhaps that might have been.
I got the news last week that Camey passed away unexpectedly. Just forty years old, she was much too young to die. I think that you will agree that whenever anyone close to you loses someone they love, you want to do something besides make a casserole. Having buried both of our parents, there is not enough jobs for everyone who wants to do something. And a lot of it you have to do yourself even though it would be nice to sub it out.
Camey’s mom called me yesterday afternoon. The funeral director had suggested, given Camey’s love of horses, that a horse escort her to her final resting place. Camey comes from a quarter horse family. They have horses I only dream of owning. So it was an honor that they asked us to provide one of our horses for the service.
Last year, I took Windy to honor a fallen soldier in a funeral procession. This time we chose Fancy for the task. We would put her in English tack with the boots Camey had “borrowed” from her mom. John would be her handler.
We stopped by the cemetery prior to the service to walk her through for a trial run. The only thing that has ever bothered Fancy has been rocks with trees growing out of them. As weird as it sounds, you see this a lot in the mountains. So what would she think of grave stones? Thankfully it was not an issue. We left her in the trailer while we went to the funeral and left just a few minutes early so we could get her tacked up and ready when the procession arrived.
She did get a little high when all the cars pulled up and mourners started walking toward her. John gave me “the look” like things might go south. When I look through the pictures, I only see a couple where she looked anxious. Then she went to work.
Camey’s mom asked me to share these pictures. They are hauntingly beautiful. I don’t think you have to be a horse person to appreciate the majesty it provided to such a sad event.
But I also want to remember Camey. Although I’ve seen her off and on the last few months, the last time I spent any time with her was on the sand bar at the family’s Eagle Creek Ranch. She had recently had surgery and was unable to get into the water but took pictures and pointed out the waterfalls coming out of the aquifer along the side of the creek.
The last time I remember riding with her, she was on the beautiful Peaches, a lovely buckskin mare. We were working with a trainer on jumping. Of course Camey didn’t need any help with that – she was an excellent rider – but she went through the motions with us.
Camey had a great relationship with her mother. Seeing them together made me miss my mom and that bond. I hurt so much for her family and pray they find peace in the days and years ahead.
At the funeral today, Father read from the Song of Solomon, Chapter 2: 10-13. I am sharing it here to remember it always. This is Camey’s song.
Song of Solomon 2: 10-13
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
God Speed, my friend. You will be missed.