Good Morning,Last night I returned home from a two day trip to Orlando, Fl where I met up with a very dear friend and one of her daughters visiting from Australia. To say that Cindy and her daughter, Haley have had a challenging year is an understatement. In May of last year an unthinkable tragedy claimed the lives of both, Cindy's husband and 18 year old son. The enormity of this loss is impossible to articulate let alone comprehend.
Although, I have held her in my thoughts constantly, the trip was the first time that I had seen Cindy since the car accident that changed her life forever. Among the backdrop of America's happiest city, we shared our tears, laughter and hugs in an attempt to purge a fraction of the pain that afflicts Cindy on a daily basis.
Picking up the pieces of her young daughters' lives while maintaining her own sanity has pushed Cindy to the edge of her coping abilities. Yet, she is able to identify the one thing that soothes her battered heart and brings her peace after emotional release; her horses.
In Australia Cindy owns two horses, a pregnant Thoroughbred mare named Milly and a young exuberant Warmblood gelding named Aniken. When life becomes unbearable she can be found lying in the field where Milly is turned out to graze. In Milly's presence Cindy feels soothing hope. In the mare's quiet realm Cindy is reminded to live in the moment. The scenario pumps fresh energy into Cindy, enabling her to get through one more day of decision making and details left over in the aftermath of loss.
Aniken's boyish behavior and training requirements provide Cindy with a healthy distraction. Schooling him promotes a positive long term goal; a certainty in her future. Each successful training session with Aniken is converted into healing for Cindy as she begins to gain control of aspects that bring joy.
Many of our discussions during meals, sitting poolside, or waiting for Killer Whales to take our breath away, were about horses. Each sentence in which Cindy shared with me about hers was a small happy escape from emotional torment. Our conversations took us into training methods, philosophies, natural history, competition, humorous anecdotes and many memories from our shared horsy times together in the past. All of this added up to longer stretches of time in which Cindy could feel emotions beyond her sadness.
From horses Cindy will acquire the strength to forge ahead and pave a smooth path for Haley who is growing into her own future. We may be powerless to control the events of our lives that bring unwelcome change, but thanks to the healing ability of horses Cindy has a saving grace.
Cindy and her first 'healer', Bally.