Lately, it feels that everything has just been….difficult. Piling on. Now that I’m not riding consistently, I’m REALLY trying to get any doctor visits I need out of the way so I can keep staying healthy and fix as well as I can any previous injuries that need it while I’m still young enough. And it sucks because I usually get the “come back when you’re more broken/can’t walk/move” or “this requires this first that you must schedule but there’s no openings for 2 weeks and then don’t bother making a follow-up appointment with us early because no one bothered to tell you that this requires 3 appointments” and basically me trying to get things moving but you know, it takes months to actually get something done so that’s doubly frustrating. So with all this that I’m trying to do, possibly considering more school next year, and worry for Amber and just adulting in general, I needed a bit of a lift-up. And it came in the most unlikely way.
When my parents bought this property, it was discovered that around the same time that someone bought the lot behind ours. Over the past year we’ve gotten to be good friends with them, especially when they came out (their house isn’t built yet) and the son and daughter absolutely fell in love with the horses. The son in particular absolutely adored Amber, and the horses could tell that the kids were head over heels for them. My mom had ended up telling them about Amber’s diagnosis and that she may not be with us for as long as we had thought before we’d found the laminitis. And while we are not the best of friends with them, their kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness was so welcome and appreciated and really lifted my spirits.
Not only did they stop by a store to grab a GINORMOUS bag of carrots and apples, but they did this after the daughter had been in the hospital on Tuesday (I won’t go into detail on account I’d like to keep that private for them, but she healed very quickly and was running around just fine). Apparently, not a day went by that the kids didn’t talk about our horses, so they came by on Saturday armed with their treats, and proceeded to dote on Amber to the fullest. She was in absolute heaven. She had 2 and 1/2 apples and goodness knows how many carrots haha. But we stood there talking the son and I, petting and scratching Amber. He’s only 9, but that kid is so smart. He pet her and pet her, laughed and had a blast. And as we stood there, he said, “I don’t want her to go. I wish she would last forever.”
And I choked up, just managed to keep it together, and said, “You and me both buddy. You and me both.” Kids understand way more than we give them credit for, and since his dad had already told them that Amber’s time was limited, I wasn’t going to treat him like he didn’t know and didn’t understand. Because this kid really really understood.
I’ve been worried about Amber, a lot more than I’ve let on. Her RH hasn’t shown any signs of improvement and she’s resting it more than looks good. I’m also starting to worry about how the underside of that RH hoof looks. I’ve wrapped her hind legs to hopefully give her some extra support, but I’m not sure it’s helping. She’s hurting, uncomfortable, and it’s seriously the hardest and most painful thing in the world to see this little mare so unhappy. But as he and I shoved carrots her way, and I showed him how to get her to follow him and he proceeded to have a blast with that for the next 10 minutes, Amber looked happier than she had in a while. It isn’t like I haven’t been hanging out with her or loving on her, but perhaps I have been loving on her with a bit of a cloud over us, and this was experiencing the pure happiness of kids who just adore horses. But she followed him around like a little puppy, and it was absolutely the cutest thing to see.
The family also knew someone who painted portraits, and told me to grab on of my favorite pictures of me and Amber and he would gift it to me so I had something of her. His son also gave me a little model horse, one that his dad had bought for him on one of his trips but the son thought it looked just like Amber so even though it was his only model horse, he wanted me to have it. This little boy is just so sweet and has such a big big, kind heart, as does his whole family. The daughter drew a picture for me and grabbed me a few flowers and hell I’m keeping these things forever. The kindness of this family for us and me and Amber was just so uplifting, so precious. I don’t ever want to forget it. The feels, you guys.
I don’t care what people say – kindness and thoughtfulness are everything.
So, since we still have that giant bag of carrots that hardly had a dent in it even from 2 horses, I have brought carrots out every night with me when I go to feed. I hop in Amber’s stall and love on her and stuff her with carrots – since she’s hungry, hugs and kisses are not on her priority list haha. But stuff her with carrots and she’s been looking like she’s feeling at least a little better. So I’ve continued to stuff her face. Whisper of course gets carrots as well – that’d be totally unfair lol – and has really been coming leaps and bounds in the “trusting us to help her out when she’s scared in her stall” department. Plus, I think she knows. She’s one of the most sensitive horses I know, and I think she knows Amber doesn’t feel well. And I think she knows I’ve been sad as well, because for the past few weeks she’s been gently moving her head towards me to love on her face, something she usually doesn’t do. She lets me smooch her nose and hold her head like she’s offering support. Such a sweet mare.
So while I feel like I’m muddling through a lot and continuously hitting roadblocks with appointments and such (which most will hopefully be resolved within 2 weeks), our future neighbor’s kindness was just the lift that I needed.