Monday, March 01, 2010

Goodbye, friend.

Today, I planned to write about something else. I planned to work on my life list and tell you about the puppies (PUPPIES) that Inspector Climate and I went and saw yesterday. Instead, I have to tell you this story...This inconsequential story about a girl and her horse.

I met Mel when I was maybe six years old. He was rockin' a different hair cut then. His then owner kept his mane a few inches long and cut in a very straight line - he looked handsome - but it wasn't him. Mel came to live with us when I was eight, he kept our other horse in the pasture company, but soon became a feature on our farm. We let him grow out his mane until it was shaggy and natural - softer.

When I was ten, and received the birthday present all girls dream of, a pony. I sobbed. I sobbed and sobbed because I thought if we got another horse we'd have to give away Mel. I thought it was unbelievably cruel of my parents to make me choose between an old friend and a new one. As my parents assured me we'd keep both the new pony and the lovely quarter horse with the pink nose and the kindest eyes, I wiped away my tears and quickly became ecstatic.

Years ticked by. Fifteen years. In all this time, Mel has remained the lovely sweet natured guy munching grass in the pasture, and meandering slowly between the barn and the hay. That is always how Mel's moved. Slow. He treated trail rides, much to the poor novice beginners we threw onto his back annoyance, like a salad buffet. He mostly sampled. The clover, the pine needles, a blackberry or three...I've cried into his mane, and held his head while the vet has sedated him. His had surgeries that nearly took his life but instead prolonged it - a gift I'll always be thankful for. We've trotted merrily through our woods - and stood quietly enjoying the scenery (well, I've enjoyed the scenery...he munched on the scenery). I've given him back rubs and he has returned the favour (lightly running his teeth over the palm of my hand). We've used each other as head rests, we've hugged, we've snuggled...He was the uncontested leader of our herd of horses which quickly grew from 3 to 4 and finally to 5. A simple flick of his ears and the others gave him his space - a skill I've been jealous of for over a decade.

Mel, at 28, passed away today (Yesterday? god the time change is hard). He passed away from old age, and it wasn't a total surprise - he colicked pretty horribly a few months ago - but it has hit me unbelievably hard. To say I am distraught is an understatement. From the moment my mom e-mailed me, my whole body began to ache, my lip trembling like child's, my body unable to regulate temperature begging me to put on more and more clothes until I'm now wearing socks - the devil's garment - 3 shirts and a hoodie and long pants. Tears have streamed down my face all morning and I've focused on them because the sensation of them rolling out of my swollen eyes and down my cheek is much more pleasant than the aching limbs and homesickness. I hurt.

Goodbye, old friend.

15 comments:

  1. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

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  2. Oh sweet darling! I am sorry to hear you have lost a loved one so precious. Mel sounded amazing. He is off munching clovers in greener pastures now... HUGS!!!

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  3. To feel this much pain, so much love is first required.

    You don't really need my positive thoughts but seeing as I like you, you can have them anyway. :)

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  4. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your companion.

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  5. Oh I'm so sorry. That's tough news to take, especially when you're so far away. He sounds adorable. Big, big hugs to you x

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing an animal is always a hard thing to go through. May Mel rest in peace.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost a dog while I was studying abroad in Germany and felt helpless. It's hard to describe how attached we get to our pets. It's even harder to say good bye. I'll be thinking of you.

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  8. Thank you for the lovely comments. I adore you people.

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  9. You gave him the best gift anyone could; friendship and love. My heart goes out to you. I know how it is to loose a friend like him. Grief is a curious thing, hurting us when we least need it. I won't say you'll get over it, but you will get through it. Hold on to his sweet memory, knowing he's lived a full and wonderful life. I doubt he would ask for more.
    Hugs

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  10. babe, i'm so sorry. i love you. lots of hugs from across the pond. to both you and your folks.

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  11. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss, Deidre. It's obvious that Mel was a very special part of your life.

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  12. God, I sound like a 4-year old.

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  13. Jessica - part of my is very worried that I'll forget. I don't want him to become a fuzzy memory.

    Thanks Rhea.

    Bridget - I feel like a four year old.

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  14. What a lovely tribute to a great animal. I wish I could feel things as deeply as you do in this post. Perhaps that is part of what makes your writing so great to read. You feel deeply. I am so glad you are featured today. What a pleasure to peek in on what you have going here.

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