All The Pretty Little Ponies – A Personal Memorial


All I can think of right now is horses.  All shapes, all sizes, all colors.

My cousin Debbie absolutely LOVED horses. According to my mom and my aunt, Debbie loved them almost from the time she could walk and talk. Her room decor was always horses. She had horses on EVERYTHING. And yes, she even owned a few throughout her life. She loved to talk about horses all the time.  Debbie was an animal lover through and through, but the horses were always first.

Of all my extended family, I was closest to Debbie and her family, because they lived not all that far away and we saw them much more than the rest of the family.  When we moved back to Ohio after several years in Washington state, I was 18 and Debbie was 24, and we spent lots of time debating the latest music, the latest TV shows, and the latest movies. We were never on the same wavelength, but we loved talking about all the latest stuff.

For instance, I remember the stunned look on her face, and laughing, when we were talking about Culture Club one day, and she came to the sudden realization that Boy George was just that – a BOY. She honestly had NO idea…and we all laughed long and hard on that one…

Fast forward a few years…

I remember driving to Reynoldsburg on a Saturday afternoon in early 1991, I think, to see her in the hospital when she suddenly became ill with the first of what was to be a long string of health problems that would last almost 20 years. She was sedated and barely knew I was there, but her mom and dad were there and caring for her. I was so shaken by her appearance that when I left the hospital, I climbed back into my van, and had to sit there for several minutes to comprehend just how seriously ill she was at the time.

I saw her several more times after that before I moved to Massachusetts in 1993, and spoke with her a couple of years ago when my Mom was staying with Debbie and her mom after her cataract surgery.

Debbie was a kind and gentle soul, who loved life, animals, family, McDonalds, chinese food, AC/DC, Dr. Demento, and much much more. She gave lots of love to the friends and family she had, and I don’t ever think I saw her sad or upset or mad about anything when we were growing up, and even into adulthood.

A couple years ago, the problems she’d been having over the years peaked when she was diagnosed with brain stem cancer, and then the problem that had put her into the hospital all those years ago reared it’s ugly head again. The chemo and radiation didn’t work the way they had hoped on the cancer. And a few short months ago,  she and her family made the most difficult decision one must make in their lifetime…

I got word from my Mom last night that Debbie passed away yesterday morning. It was news that I knew would be coming soon, and news that gave me mixed feelings. I was glad to know that after 20 years of constant problems, she was finally able to rest, to be at peace. And I’m very sad because I have lost someone I cared very deeply about. I wish we hadn’t lived so far apart these last years; I would done my best to be there with her and for her if i’d still been living in Ohio.

Debbie – I will miss you a lot. Distance has separated us for years, and I wish we could have been closer in recent times, but although you may have never known it, you and the family were in my prayers all the time, especially as the problems grew over these past three years or so. You have been called home far far too young, and I know that there are many, many people who will miss your smile, your laugh, and your kindness a great deal.

And still, I will remember one very special thing about you.

And all I can think about right now is horses….

Hush a bye,
Don’t you cry,
Go to sleep, my little baby.
When you wake,
You shall have
All the pretty little ponies.

In your bed,
Momma said,
Baby’s riding off to dreamland.
One by one,
They’ve begun,
Dance and prance for little baby.

Blacks and bays,
Dapples and greys,
Running in the night.
When you wake,
You shall have
All the pretty little ponies.

Can you see the little ponies
Dance before your eyes?
All the pretty little ponies
Will be there when you arise.


Deborah Hoskinson

March 6 1955 – April 14 2010