a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Gift...My Loss

Life has a way of changing us.  It is what life is, constant change.  Some changes are welcomed, others, not so much.

This  past week, I did the best thing I have ever done.

This past week, I did the hardest thing I have ever done.

From the small girl who drew nothing but horses to the woman surrounded by her dreams-come-true,  my life, my soul, yearned for, and reveled in, the company of horses,  yet, I could never overcome my fear of riding.  I rode but the fear never left.

My babies, my dolls will be loved by young people who have never had a proper home until they came to Arkansas Sheriff's Youth Ranch

This decision was not a light one.  Horses in this program never leave.  They are loved and cared for by disadvantaged  youth with constant professional equine-educated supervision.  The horses receive top notch veterinarian care and provide therapy for the young people.

The papers are wet from the tears I shed while writing about each horse, telling about their sweet spots and favorite snacks. All registries are transferred with the i's dotted and the t's crossed.  The horses are gone.

From paper dolls to the mural on my Dreaming Porch to the realities of those dreams, it has been quite a ride.
From miniature horses,
to my big ones,
I have loved them all.
Farewell, my beauties!
If one child learns to trust,
if one child learns to love,
if one child's wall is breached by the love of these horses,
then my gift, my emptiness, will have been worth it.

Happy New Year

49 comments:

An English Shepherd said...

A very Happy New Year as well to you and yours :-)

the canned quilter said...

I am touched and humbled ...sending lots of hugs your way my dear friend.

Rudee said...

Oh, Gail! I am simultaneously thrilled at the gift you have given and brokenhearted for you. What a difficult decision this must have been. I hope your horses bring joy to the recipients.

Rae said...

You have touched my heart. I shed a tear reading this. Your loss is a gain for some fortunate young souls who will learn to trust again through your babies. You've done something wonderful. Sending you a really big hug. You did good!!

TexWisGirl said...

i feel your pain! but you have found a tremendous home for them, i am certain!

i gave up riding about 8 yrs ago - same thing. could not cram the fear down hard enough to ever relax - and the horses new it. i loved horses from the get go, but because we were dirt poor folk, didn't start riding until i was an adult. then it took more years before i could own my own. by then, the fear had set in - fear of being hurt, of not having control over a 1,000 pound animal. even with lessons on school horses, then lessons on my own horse, i couldn't get past it. my one real failure of something i wanted so badly... so i have 2 spoiled rotten pasture pets now. we keep all our feet firmly on the ground and enjoy ourselves for it. i still have this regret, though.

B. WHITTINGTON said...

Gail,
I can only imagine your pain. Your horses were beauties and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing them with us, your friends in blogland.
I've seen the programs where horses are used to heal children and adults who've been hurt by life. What a blessing your babies will be to someone else. But like a child leaving the nest, the departure is never easy.
They're in your heart and mind and in mine if that helps.
Sending prayers and blessings both to you and to your horses who have gone on to another great journey. And for the youth that will care for them. Blessings, Barb

ellen abbott said...

oh Gail, you gave them up! That must have been so hard but so generous of you. what a good heart.

EmptyNester said...

That has got to be one of the most unselfish, compassionate, wonderfully marvelous things I've ever heard about. You, my friend, have a heart bigger than the great outdoors. Just think how many lives you will change. And how many of those lives will now be able to change the lives of others for the good. I am in awe of you and your generosity. Happy New Year!

Eva Ason said...

Hi Gail,
That must have been a hard decision for you, but so very very generous! Happy New Year my friend!

Jeannelle said...

Happy New Year to you, Gail.

Far Side of Fifty said...

The children at the ranch were probably as happy as you are sad..it must have been a really heart wrenching decision for you:(

Nora said...

You're nuts!

Buttons said...

Oh Gail now I am crying I am so sorry but they will be loved just as you have loved them. I have no words to ease this pain. HUGS is all I have. B

Buttons said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda in New Mexico said...

I'll add my tears to the puddle. So hard to do what you did. So wonderful to do what you did. The sword has two edges. There are no words I can type to make it not have pain but the joy of hope you have given will soothe it in time. Bless your heart dear lady. Oma Linda

Pat said...

Oh, Gail! You've made me cry this morning! You have such a big heart! Your horses will be well taken care of, I'm sure. And they will help these kids. You will always have their memories in your heart. God Bless You!

Happy New Year!

Barb said...

That was a gut wrenching blog. What a courageous move.

I think I would look into adopting a gentle of equine soul who is unable to be ridden and who just needs love for the rest of its life. One that would otherwise end up in a can of pet food. That way you'd get your horse fix, send love out into the world and have no guilt or fear about not riding.

Dreaming said...

Oh my... I bet there is a very empty hole in your heart right now... but I firmly believe that your selfless contribution and the lives your horses will change will more than fill that hole!
Bless you! Hugs to you.

Farm Girl said...

Oh man I am sitting her crying my eyes out, As one woman who loved horses more than I loved life, I know how hard it was to give that wonderful gift to those young people.
I pray that your gift will bless those kids and restore to them health from their hurts as my horses did for me.
I know today I can function as a adult because of a horse.
I don't know if I have ever heard of anything that has touched me more or so deeply.
I pray you are blessed over and over for this selfless act.
Wow, Gail, such a gift.
Now I have to stop crying.
Hugs from me to you.

Country Gal said...

You have touched my heart in this post. To give up your beautiful ponies that you loved so dearly to selfless give them to kids that will ride and love them to no end ! My hats off to you my friend what a gift to give someone ! Happy New Year to you all !

Sue said...

This is a true gift of love that you have given, and I am inspired by what you've done.

I am also sad to think that your horses will not be with you.

But oh, how I love what you did for those kids!

=)

Sue said...

PS. Happy New Year!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I cannot even imagine your pain but I do so admire your courage. It is so hard to let go, even when we know it's the best, sometimes the only, thing to do. Tears are God's way of washing away the pain so cry on my friend. May He bless you in so many ways that you won't be able to take it all in....marlene

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

My heart is breaking for you Gail. I know how difficult this decision was for you...and how difficult it will be every time you walk through the quiet, empty pastures where your lovely horses used to run, play and enjoy their lives.
Gail, what a generous, self-less thing to do.

((((hugs))))
~Lisa

John Gray said...

oh dear.....

Katie Paxton said...

I shed many tears as I read this post.
Blessing to you for a beautiful thing you did for children and your horses.

The Golden Eagle said...

It must have taken a lot of courage to give them to the program--but what a wonderful thing to do.

Happy New Year!

Jules said...

My dear sweet woman what a leap! I can will you, this has reserved a halo for you.

Happy New Year my friend!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

24 Paws of Love said...

I am in tears and I'm not sure what to say, except that you said it all in your last words.

I can't imagine how hard of a choice that must have been for you. Somehow I understand your pain.

What a loving sacrifice you made.

Happy New Years

A Melbourne Girl said...

Oh Gail. You're a better person than me I'm afraid. Well done. I take my hat off to you
Happy New Year. May 2012 bring you much happiness and joy!
Lesley
xx

Rural Revival said...

Oh what courage that decision took Gail. You have taken your love for them and have passed it along forward a thousand fold. Sending a big hug to you.

Hope said...

I am saddened by the difficult decision you have had to make but no doubt it was the right one. very difficult indeed but worth the blessings. The many youth's that will benefit from your beauties. This society owes you a big THANK YOU! You have blessed them with such a priceless gift!

may you have many more blessings come your way in 2012!
take care
Hope

Jo said...

Omw Gail, what a difficult thing you did and what a wonderful gesture from you. Bless you dearest friend and have a happy and blessed 2012! Greetings Jo

Deanna said...

Gail - what a beautiful decision. And how heart rendering for you. Bless you! You are amazing my co-horseloving friend. Well done. Truly well done.

LindaG said...

If you needed to get rid of them, I think you chose the best possible way to do it.
*hugs* and God Bless. ♥♥♥

Laura said...

Well done, that took some serious courage - and what a great gift you have given to those kids.

Laura x

Ms. ~K said...

Your unselfish act of kindness will be rewarded my friend!

DesertHen said...

Such a beautiful gift you have given! (((HUGS))) to you!

labbie1 said...

Oh my! What a deep and loving heart you have! I have always loved horses! I know the children whose life they touch will also be changed for the better all of their lives!

What a selfless gift!

Nezzy said...

Oh my sweet friend, you heart is big!

I can feel the warmth of God's great smile clear over here!

God bless you and have peace in your most generous heart for you have truly made a difference!!!! :o)

Jenny said...

Oh my. I feel the pain in this post.

What a lovely heart you have!

achieve1dream said...

What a difficult thing to do!! I'm so sorry you had to give up your babies. I'm glad they are going to such a nice place where they can help kids. Such a great thing they are doing. Hang in there because it will get easier.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Oh! Although they passed from your hands to another, you didn't really give them away they remain forever in your heart, what you did was give them up to a higher calling. We know what a difference an animal can make in the healing of a damaged child, I cannot imagine a finer gift, a more powerful gift of love, no matter how painful. God sees, God knows, and maybe someday in another world beyond this one, you will ride beautiful horses once again, this time with no fear, because God has blessed you for giving something so precious. True gifts hurt, we have to give from our depths and you have done this. I am,once again, humbled by your choices and your grace.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my God, Gail, this made me cry. I SO KNOW!!!!!!!!! The creatures we love the most, and who love US the most, grace our lives and then, one way or another, are gone. The hole they leave behind in our hearts is huge - but so is the grace and selflessness in your heart, in placing them where they will help damaged children heal. It is proven that riding and caring for horses is sometimes the ONLY thing that reaches special needs kids, not to mention any humans who have been hurt and whose hearts need to heal. Bless you for your gift. I cant imagine the tears you shed and all it cost you. But as you say, if one child is healed - and more than one child WILL be healed - it is worth the pain. You are a fantastic person. Thank you SO MUCH for sending me this link. I would not have wanted to miss this story.

Brian Miller said...

hugs...thanks for pointing me back here to read the story...you have a big heart...smiles...

Sandra said...

so sad and i know even though it has been a couple of years the hurt is still there in your heart. they were beautiful and i am happy for them you found a forever home for them to be safe and cared for.

Saucy Kodz said...

Thank you so much for the link - I half remember reading this, but I did remember the softness and hurt and tears and I remembered something about this. I have read all and feel an ache in my heart and sadness of losing something you have loved, but then I think of the goodness that will come out of this wonderful thing you have done. I knew your heart was big Gail, but now I know its just a lot bigger than I imagined. You and your family are much how I pictured you as I have followed along - good, decent, loving, honest, warm, talented - I could say more but I know you got the picture from my head n heart. Thankyou - Lilly

Jeanette Schattenmann said...

It doesn't sound very happy to ME!! :-(

Margaret said...

I understand. I thank my lucky stars I bought a 14.2 horse that is sturdy enough for me to ride. I am afraid of big horses, is why I had to part with my half Friesian. We have a lady at the barn who does not ride, does Natural Horsemanship/Freedom with her beautiful horse. He certainly does not miss riding- they play, and are a joy to watch. I'll have to video tape them some day.

Your horses were very pretty, and I am sure some child's heart has been saved by them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...