I was given a gift on Saturday. I was offered this gift many times before, but was either working, out of town, cleaning my house, or heading to the gym. The gift was the lesson of spending time with those we care about before it's too late.
My dear friend, Lorri, invited me to go to the barn with her to spend time with her beautiful, regal, gentleman of a horse named Freedom. I had spent a few glorious mornings with Lorri and Freedom in the past, but it had been months. Lorri never gave up on me, although I turned her down over and over, with a promise of "soon".
I am so grateful, and pondering divine inspiration, that I was available early Saturday morning, when I received the text invitation, and joyfully accepted the offer. I put on my boots and britches, and off I went, thrilled that I would get to start my weekend at the barn, which has always brought me happiness, peace and healing, even through my darkest times. Freedom quietly let me brush him, tack him up and have a short, light walk and trot ride that morning. Although I love sitting upon this massive animal, my true joy is brushing him and taking some quiet time to perform Reiki on him. He acknowledges the benefits of this energy work by lowering his head and closing his eyes. I feel like I can read his very soul, and if I could guess what he was thinking, I would guess that he was grateful that Lorri gave him such a comfortable life; balancing his purpose of being a high level Dressage horse, with being able to reside on a gorgeous, clean farm, and be so loved by a compassionate, kind owner.
At the time we had no idea that Saturday would be Freedom's last day on earth. After saying good-bye one more time as I walked past his stall, I told him I'd be back soon for another Reiki session. Lorri and I made plans for the future visits, which she always encouraged me to do. I went home, cleaned my boots, and reveled in the perfection of the morning. I didn't know that just a few hours later, Freedom would suffer a severe, life-threatening form of colic, that ultimately led Lorri to have to make the devastating decision to put her wonderful horse down.
I woke Sunday morning to a text was so surreal, I still have difficulty believing it to be true, that Freedom is gone. My heart aches knowing I was the last person to ride him, to brush him, to share a beautiful, peaceful moment with him. My heart broke again when I washed my barn clothes and found his hair on my shirt. I broke down with the realization that I will never again be in the presence of this larger than life horse, with wisdom of the ages.
However, I did learn a valuable lesson, and that is to never put off spending time with those we care about. We need to take time in our lives because we never want to experience regret for not doing so. Had I been too busy, as usual, to go to the barn Saturday morning, it would have haunted me forever. May this be a lesson for myself, and maybe others, to call someone we love RIGHT NOW. Don't wait, because we never know if we will never get another chance.