Monday, March 2, 2009

Life's Lucky Lesson

I'm always telling my kids how lucky they are. Do you ever do that? I tell them they're lucky they live in a country where they can make choices, have clean water, eat three meals a day, have clothes, etc. It's the same line we all heard growing up, and I think many of us dish it to our children now.

I am constantly telling my youngest in particular how lucky she is to have her very own pony and to be able to go and ride and learn all about her animal and horses in general. I wasn't sure how much she was grasping the concept until this past weekend.

My cousin Jessica owns a ranch (check out the site. She has some nice horses)--anyway my daughter and her friend took a drive out with me to Jessie's place because there is a therapuetic riding center around the corner that we were donating some products to from Professional's Choice to and we were invited to take a tour of the center and ranch.

We picked Jessie up and ten minutes later pulled up to the center, which was a sprawling, pristine place. Last year when the fires burned through So. Cal they burned through this place and actually the house on the property is gone, but thankfully no horses lost their lives. It was kind of eye awakening for me to see how much the fire burned. My parents had to evacuate during it and we moved horses, but it was diverted two miles before it reached their place. Anyway, we pulled up and in the arena there was a private lesson going on with a girl of about fifteen. She had a pretty severe case of cerebral palsy and to watch her was completely inspiring. She could not sit up on her own, or hold on to the reins, but you could tell by watching her and the pony together that there was something very spiritual going on, and there was a healing of sorts taking place. At one point she wrapped her arms around the pony and gave him a big hug. I took notice of her mother and how dedicated she was to her daughter and her comittment to help her lead and live a full life. The instructors and volunteers were as amazing as the student herself--each one working toward a goal. When the young girl was taken off the pony, she smiled and it was so obvious to me that she truly enjoyed being up on that horse.

On the drive home, my daughter and her friend asked me about the girl and what was wrong with her. I explained in eight-year-old terminology what cerebral palsy is and how it affects people who have it. We talked a lot about what her life might be like and what her parents have to do to help her. I think it was eye opening for my little one. That night as she got ready for bed and said her prayers, she prayed for the girl on the pony, and she thanked God for giving her, her very own pony and for making her a healthy kid.

Maybe it's better sometimes instead of hearing how "lucky you are," in actually seeing it. Now, I'm not saying this child is a problem or this is a negative to be physically or mentally handicaped. Not at all. I think we are all God's children and in saying that I don't think He makes any mistakes. What I am saying is that I can't imagine it's an easy life for the person afflicted or the people who take care of them, and when we turn on the news everyday and there is nothing good to hear, and we get the bills in the mail, or we have to do something we don't want to, etc., that it's in those moments we look to a child suffering from a disease who is willing to go out and work hard, play hard and make a connection with a horse or any animal, then we can stop (as my child did) and take a look at our own lives and think--"Wow. I'm pretty lucky."

I love to hear any of your inspiring stories. I think we can all use some good news these days. So bring them on-feel good, get inspired, be grateful and feel lucky!


P.S. Update on Krissy-- Blood tests came back on Saturday and Fibrogen level was at 450! No fever, but she was one sick girl. She's on Azium and bute for another week, as well as Red Cell as the virus & bacterial infection caused her to become anemic. She is now allowed daily 30 minute tack walks around the ranch, so it looks as if I'm back in the saddle again, and we're both happy about that!


Anonymous said...

Michele--Glad to hear you are back in the saddle with Krissy. I can totally relate. I am still hand walking Henry at four weeks out from colic surgery. He is healing well, but there is still some drainage from his incision and it will be another month before my son is allowed to ride him (all going well). These horses are a lot of work (!) And a lot of worry...Hope Krissy continues to have a smooth recovery.

Gayle Carline said...

We are lucky, Michele, in so many ways. Even though we still face disabilities, there is so much more available in both treatment and understanding than when I was a youngster (granted, that was sometime in the Jurassic era). What a great example of 'showing' your daughter instead of 'telling' her.

I'm glad Krissy is feeling better. Wish my Snoopy was ( It's depressing when they're not 100%.

Sun Colors Ranch said...

Hi Shell! I am so glad we got to go to the ranch together, that was such a great experience. It was nice to share it with you and the girls. Thanks for mentioning my ranch too. I set up a blog...kind of new at this stuff