What usually brings a tear of joy to my eye is wathing my daughter sing the theme songs to her favorite shows (ones that I enjoyed a a child as well, and have fond memories of) while she sits and eats peanutbutter toast, with the morning light streaming through our glass patio door, and her toes wiggkling while her legs dangle off the too-tall couch.
For example, my daughter is obessed with the movie, “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” and she waits until the credits to hear her faavorite song from the movie soundrack, dances to it, and even belts out the words (the ones she knows anyways) with the gusto of an opera singer. It brings joy to my eyes. It makes me feel happy.
The only other two times I can remember crying tears of joy was when I finally became married to my husband. Everything seemed to work out so smoothly that it almost made us suspicious and created a hint of doubt. Thinking about it now it makes me laugh, the coincidences and synchronicities that happened during each step of the process, it was the universe giving us the go ahead. The second time was when I had gifted my horse, Maggie, to a pair of twins that were originally triplets. Their brother at 15-years-old had a brain aneursym while playing a lacrosse game and died almost instantly.
The two girls and their mother had been using Maggie as a support animal, and I had just became pregnant. There was no way for me to be able to afford the expenses of both Maggie and a child. So I had talked to my own mother and father and they both thought that my decision was a sound one and they commented on how large of a sacrifice I was making and that it wasn’t lost on them, and of course, how proud they were of me.
That’s when I called their mother, it was near Christmas and I was beginning to show, I had already quit my job because my feet looked like balloons almost every night, and the extra weight gain was unbearable. Their mother almost immediately started crying and of course, I started sobbing uncontrollably. I mean, I had worked most of my teenage years and my adult life for Maggie, I went to school from 10:45am to 1:45pm, then I would go to my job at Dunkin Donuts from 2:00pm to about 9:45pm and then I would head straight from work right to the barn, arrive at 10:00pm, cleaned her stall, and finally would leave there at around 12:00am. I did that for 5 days a week for 2 years. It was back breaking work (rewarding at times too, but those were few and far between) and it was very difficult that I even had as much of a foot into the professional horse arena as was possible for a poor person (at least by comparison), and I had to give it all up for my child.
What happened next was nothing short of beautiful and soul touching, it was a perfect Christmas present. Their mother had dressed Maggie up in a santa hat to take some photos on a night they had stayed late, and maybe 2 days after their mother and I finalized the paperwork with management and a notary. As their mom was snapping pictures at an impressive speed, and thus, the three greatest time lapse pictures were born.
The first picture was akin to two sisters looking at eachother like, “did I hear that right, there is no way I did.” The second picture was what I like to call, the realiztion phase of finding out some life-changing news, as if you just nailed an interview for a job you weren’t even sure you were qualified for in the first place. the absolute SHOCK of receiving a callback for a second interview. One of them had their mouth agape, in utter shock, and the lead line dangling limply in her hand, hardly holding it. The second daughter (also in a santa hat) had her mouth wide in shock just like her sister, the only difference was she had covered her mouth with her hand and was gripping the leadline like it would be ripped from her grasp, it looked as if she wanted to live in that moment forever. The third picture, compared to the other two photos, was absolute chaos. Both of the sisters were looking at each other, grabbing each other and you could practically hear them screaming in excitement, right through the picture.
A few of the photos were a bit wobbly, and I could infer that their mother was probably wiping her own tears. I could only imagine the happiness that Maggie had brought them, when the sisters lost a maternal twin brother, and a mother and father losing their son so tragically when all they saw for their boy was a bright future. I felt for them.
I had been looking and seeking for a leaser to take some of the financial burden off of me, because remember I was no longer working. The person that was essentially taking Maggie for a “trial run” for about a week. I’m aware this may sound strange but is quite common when considering pairing an animal with an individual who will be riding said huge animal. Needless to say, I didn’t care for her. She was a sweet woman, but I think the rumors around the barn had made her assume that Maggie would eventually be hers because she started doing things like putting a sign over her stall door that read, “no treats please I’m watching my figure,” which is odd because Maggie was in no way overweight enoough to bar her from treats and I wasn’t even consulted about this decision either. Already an overstep. Once I had given that woman the boot, I just couldn’t find a single person that seemed to be a good fit for my well-mannered, good-natured, and relatively low maintenence mare that was 12-years-old, seasoned, easily walks on and off the trailer with ease, and whose genuine calm demeanor urged many to comment on how lucky I had been to have her as my first (and only) horse. It filled me with immense pride.
I can admit that I was like an unambitious teenager when it came to legitimately find another owner or leaser that would do right by Maggie as my due date grew ever closer and my belly had swelled significantly since the begininning of the excursion. In laymens terms: I was dragging my feet. I was devestated, but I knew that I didn’t have a choice and had to do the thing sooner, rather than later.
One of the only women I was close to at the barn, she referred my mom to the family’s mother. They had been around the barn recently and was asking owners if they knew where to lease a horse or if they had a lease on offer. I believe the daughters were in the process of doing a trial run with another horse when my only barn friend called my mom and passed along the information that they were looking for a horse to lease, she thought Maggie would be perfect, and that the trial run didn’t really appear to be going well fir them and she thought Maggie would be a much better fit due to her calm demeanor. My mom promptly informed me of the proposition and I was immediately sold. I don’t think I ever met them in person, I just KNEW that was who Maggie belonged with, and they needed her more than I needed her.
It brings me to tears just writing about it, I feel happy and satisfied with my decision and I don’t think it could have went over any better. Maggie had given me all I needed from her and more. She helped me overcome one of the most tumultuous periods of my life, and she fulfilled her duties well. It was my turn to pass along the good fortune and allow her to aid someone else in their time of need. They needed Maggie more than I did, honestly it would have been incredibly selfish to keep her. It was the least I could do for a family that had to go through such a terrible and unfortunate loss.