Two days ago, my knight in shining armor rode back into my life via a crappy, rented horse trailer. It’s hard to picture a hero riding in via a rusty, old trailer but that’s just what happened, believe it or not. It was at that moment, my life changed again.
It’d been 7 years since my hand touched the warm muzzle of a special black Arabian stallion and it had been 15 years since I had lost him (view the story by clicking here). When I found out that he would be entering my life again after all of this time, I couldn’t believe it was happening. Actually, I didn’t believe it until he was standing in the stall staring back at me. I couldn’t sleep, I could barely eat and I definitely couldn’t shut up about him. But, it wasn’t until my hand touched his warm muzzle again that I truly believed that it really did happen. My best friend, my savior, my love, was back.
When I first laid eyes on him again, it was very difficult. No matter how many times I played it out, I never thought that I would be hit with so much emotion. I knew it would be hard but I didn’t really comprehend just how hard. My heart and my memory pictured a beautiful blue-black horse that was fat, happy and healthy. What met me on Saturday was an old, greying, broken-down horse that appeared to be clinging to his last days on Earth. Where fat once was abundant, sharp bones protruded. Where large black eyes once looked back at me, a lifeless, hazy eye fought a battle with mucus. His face had lost large areas of pigment and instead of being solid black, it was now a grey and white spotted mess. If it hadn’t have been for the marking on his leg and the small spot on his forehead, I wouldn’t have recognized him. That realization was devastating. My best friend was old and wasn’t long for the world.
I haltered Knight and led him to the trailer, feeling joy and great sadness simultaneously. I felt happy to be leading my best friend to the horse trailer that would bring him back into my life. I felt sad for the owner that would be losing him after all of these years. He’d owned him for 15 years and I know that he loved him very much. I felt sadness for the old horse that limped behind me and I longed for the days when I had to tell him “easy” as we walked somewhere. Knight loaded up like a dream and we bid farewell to his owner.
He’s been with me for two days now. I know that he remembers me and he proves it by banging his door when he hears me talking. As I enter the stall, with halter in hand, he comes over to me and gets anxious for me to take him outside to eat grass. If I don’t move fast enough, he nudges his stall door with his nose saying, “Hey pal, let’s go!”. We walk through the pasture, side by side, best friends reunited.
Sometimes, we pause there in the field and we look over at each other. It seems like we are both in as much disbelief as the other. I reach my hand over to push over the mane that had always tried to part on the wrong side. My fingers touch the disobedient strands and Knight puts his head back down to eat the grass under him. Our moment passes and we both are comforted in knowing that we are right there together. Even though our bodies were apart for all of this time, I think our souls stayed entwined together.
People have said that I’m “admirable” or an “angel” for bringing Knight back home with me after all of this time, especially considering his health. I’m no hero. I’m simply a girl trying to repay a horse that saved her life countless times. With him around, I was able to fight through all of life’s struggles. It was because of him that I woke up each day. It was because of him that I stayed away from drugs. He was also the reason I laid down the pistol that would end my suffering. In the back of my mind, I thought that if I took my life, I wouldn’t end up in heaven where I knew my angel would be when he left the world. To say that he saved me is an understatement.
For whatever time that we may have remaining, we will find comfort in each other. We will walk through the field of grass, lit by the falling sun. Together we will fight, just as we’ve always done. Our remaining moments may not be substantial in the way that a clock ticks or in the way that one day is replaced by another. Our remaining moments aren’t for right now. They will last an eternity.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will hug my kids a little tighter. I won’t wait for bedtime or “owie’s” as the main reason for a squeeze. As they run through the house screaming and being obnoxious, I will close my eyes to the fact that they are running in the house and I will close my ears to their screams. I will make a point to sit each one of them down, alone, and I will look into their very soul and I will tell them just how proud they have made me, how they have given my life purpose, how they have made me wake up every day and thank God that I am alive and how they are the most special thing in the entire world.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will remind myself of all of the great things that I have accomplished and I will take the time to forgive myself for all of the times when I “slipped up” or made a mistake. I will remember the dreams I’ve had, the trials and tribulations and I will smile when I think of all that I still have left to do. It’s only when we stop making lists that our life is done.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will tell everyone in my life how much I love them and how they have changed my life. I will rely on a hug in person rather than a Facebook post, a text message or an email. I’ll remember how the phone works and I won’t be satisfied until I hear a voice at the other end of the line. The people that have come into and out of my life have shaped me into who I am today. I’ve learned countless lessons on friendship, expectations, compassion and love.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will honor my own personal heroes. While they don’t wear capes or save the world, they have saved me, motivated me and pushed me to be so much more than I ever thought possible. They aren’t superstars or famous people, they are “everyday” people who choose to change the world and influence positive behavior and actions. It’s impossible not to be a better person when you have them in your life.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will forgive and forget. I won’t just act like everything is okay, I will make it so. I will forgive those who have hurt me and those who have made it a point to rundown everything that I have ever been. I will allow my enemies the courtesy that they have never extended to me. I will kill them with kindness. (if the world doesn’t end first) And most of all, I will remember to say “I’m sorry”.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will tell that special man how much he means to me. I will look deeply into his eyes and whisper “sweet nothings” in his ear. I will tell him that when he walks into a room, my heart still skips a beat and my palms begin to sweat. I’ll touch him as if for the very first time and I will revel in the beauty that he possesses. I’ll tell him that he is all I dream of and that he’s the only man who I can fantasize of (although not for a lack of trying). I’ll show him what’s in my heart and I’ll point out all the once broken pieces that are now held together because of his love.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will give my dog an extra treat and I’ll try really hard not to laugh at his nearly toothless old-man face. I’ll refrain from telling him that he has a fat ass and a smile that only an Okie could love. Instead, I will tell him how he has been my rock and how he’s pulled me through dark times in my life. I’ll remind him of that time that I wrecked my car and he was so scared that when my mom came to save us, he took a giant shit on her console and that she found poo under her seat for a year. I’ll smile and tell him how much that still makes me laugh when she pisses me off. (sorry Mom) I will try to cram all of the love of 12 years and all of the years that we will miss, all into one moment. I’ll know that he feels it when he completely ignores me and instead tries to get past me to take over my couch.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will blame the cat.