Note: Every Christmas, I try to write a column that extolls the spirit of the season, something nice, something sweet, something quite unlike the daily ugliness we all face out in the big, bad world. This year was easy; several stories were in wait to be selected already when this came across my news feed this week. If you know someone particularly jaded or lacking something to believe in, have them take a quick look at this. It’s a short read, but will stay with you forever. – Brian
By Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., from a post on Facebook
We were just talking about how horses never forget. Here is a short story from one of our friends and adopters, John and Cindy. I thought this might bring some Christmas cheer to those who need it. Feel free to share if you wish.
We look after a sweet mare by the name of Baby Doll. Her owner is a man named Ken who is getting up there in his years (he is 90+ now). Due to health issues Ken has not been out to the barn in over a year to see his beloved mare. Now, Ken is one of these guys that when he would come to the barn each week he always had some dog & cat food for the barn critters, treats for his and other horses and usually a 2 day old Danish for the barn managers. You get the picture of what type of man Ken is.
Cindy and our friend Kym decided to pay Ken a visit a few weeks ago (he lives about a 1-1/2 hour drive from the barn, not far from O’Hare airport) and in tow with them was Baby Doll. They knocked on Ken’s door, who was delighted to see his ole friends Cindy and Kym. They smiled and said someone else was here to see him, and there was Baby Doll in the yard (right there in the Chicago suburbs).
Cindy said the look on his face was nothing but pure joy and when he called his beloved mare her ears perked up so tall; she knew and missed that voice. Now, Ken is not one to show a lot of emotion (he fought some nasty battles in WW-II), but Cindy said it is the first time she has ever seen a tear in this man’s eyes. There was no doubt that Baby Doll had not forgotten this man who had taken care of her for so many years. Above is a great reunion picture of an ole cowboy greeting his beloved mare that he had not seen in a very long time.
Ken has made arrangements to pay for her even when he is gone. Baby Doll is 26 now and you would never know it, she has such much spunk on trail. She is the best mare I have met and we love her tons, she has such a kind personality.
We plan on printing the picture and putting it in a frame and sending to Ken for Christmas. Cindy said the one that had the most tears in their eyes was Ken’s wife – tears of happiness to see her husband be able to hug the girl he talks about so often. ∆
So, if you know a Ken – or a Ken’s wife – who has lived long and given all they had to give; if you know someone of this age who has served their country in the military, or who worked their entire life either in commerce or making a difference in their community, or who sacrificed career for family or caring for others … please …. take a few minutes to find what could give their weathered hearts a proper dusting off, and injected with love and hope. And then – do it.
Because Christmas alone is anything but Merry.