Life is amazing and in many ways, just when we think we have it all figured out… we realize that we really have small glimpses of, what life is all about. But in the end, when we are no longer here, the main thing for each of us is, did we make a difference?
On April 2, 2016 we lost one of the people in our industry that represented the little guy, the back yard horse lover that was & would never be “high profile” in the Tennessee Walking Horse scene.
Why he touched me, or why I ever had any contact with him at all, is beyond me. My only explanation is just that, it was meant to be and I am glad that I was able to get just a little bit of… Richard Henson the broom man.
It all began with a phone call. Richard loved to talk about horses and each time that he called me we would speak for over an hour. As site manager for Walking Horse Club Ky sometimes people call and want to know if I know about any particular horse that might be for sale. Richard would call with interest in purchasing a horse but it never took him long before he was discussing his plan for making the world and our horse community a better place to be.
The second call was of a more serious nature. He was a concerned and hurting father that put his son first when it was discovered that his son had cancer. While the hurt deep in his heart was frantically flying through the phone wires, one could also sense his belief that there was a higher power that had a perfect plan and Richard was sure that all would go according to His plan.
Almost a year passed before I got the third call when a jubilant father called to let me know that prayer works and his son was cancer free. Of course, and as usual, after we celebrated and gave God the glory, we talked about horses for at least another hour.
One day, much like today in the spring of the year, when the weather was warm yet a bit overcast, I got my last phone call from Richard. Even though it was the last phone call, I certainly am glad that he called me. Richard and wife Barbara where on their way to Lexington because Richard was to be the motivational speaker at a rally.
Finally Richard, who by all accounts was always building people up and helping others… needed a favor. And he called me. It wasn’t anything big! He just so happened to get on the road and then realize that he had not packed a tie for his speaking engagement.
Richard and wife Barbara met me at Cracker Barrel in my hometown of Elizabethtown, Ky and as usual…. after gladly giving Richard one of my favorite spiritual themed ties… we once again talked for over an hour. Just to get closure on that circumstance, I will tell you that 2 weeks later my tie arrived in a well protected package in the mail.
As I reflect on each of the moments that I spent with Richard, I realize that Richard was like that with all of his relationships. With each person he always left you feeling better about yourself. He was a motivator and he instilled confidence in the people that he met on his journey through life.
In short, the “broom man” made a difference in my life. Even though we were like two ships passing in the night, never more to see each other, he made a difference in my life. He taught me how to be a servant and that life was not all about me. The sun circles around me but at the same time it also circles around all of humanity.
Since Richard really liked to talk a great deal…. It also taught me how to be a good listener.
I never will know exactly why Richard Henson was put into my life, yet I hope that when I see my last sunset, ride my last horse, spend my last moments with family and friends, each of them will say… He made a difference.