Another long year has passed, and as I sit and wait for the anniversary of your passing i realize that I still miss you as much today as I did the day I kissed your warm gentle forehead for the last time. This past year has been amazing. I finally got the horse of my dreams. I wrap my arms around his big solid neck and think how very much you would have loved him. Having him has made the pain of loosing you so much more bearable, but it has not made me miss you any less. It hasn't made the hurt when i think of you any less painful.
He has your playful spirit. He and Sparrow will play with me, together, and it reminds me so much of you. He has Trooper's gentle loving nature, your playful spirit, Penny's rubber lips and talkativeness and a special little spark all his own. He is like the best of each of you who I have loved so much rolled into the most amazing hairy little package.
But there is still a raw open wound there in my heart, the place where you used to be. In some ways this year seems worse. Maybe it is because the weather reminds me of that year, or maybe it is because of having the barn full of horses when for so many years it was just you out there. Or maybe it is this recent talk of possibly moving away some years in the future when Tiff is grown, and the thought of leaving your grave behind.
But even though it still hurts, even though I still can't look at a single picture of you without shedding a tear... I would not trade a single moment of the time I had you in my life to make the hurt go away. You have been worth every single tear. I love you as much now as i did the first day i saw you, and then some.
I still remember that day, standing in the aisle at Red House Farm, tacking up George for Mr. Packard (I called him Bruiser, that huge Irish Draft who I'd first met at Win-A-Gin farm). I remember hearing the clip-clop of hooves and turning around to see... you and your mom, who I later named Lilly, sticking your little red noses in through the barn door curiously. manes and tails full of witch braids and burrs, her a rack of bones and you.... you so fat you had huge dimples on your butt. As I caught you both by your ratty old too-big nylon halters and walked you back to the neighbors you had escaped from you wiggled your lip back and forth against my hand and when I stopped to push the downed wire out of my way you leaned your forehead against my side and sighed. It was a whole year before i was able to lead you home and call you mine, and another three months before Lilly was able to join us, but on that day I made it my mission to get you out of that hell hole you were stuck in and bring you home to me, where you belonged.
As much as I miss you, my world is better place because you were in it.