My Darcy Girl

There are sometimes things that happen in this earthly life that we do not understand, and it is likely that we will never know why on this side. This will most probably go at the top of that list.

A week ago tomorrow, I looked at my Doolittle and I knew it was time for me to let go. In the way that people always say it happens.

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I had done everything up to that point to keep her comfortable and she told me that it was no longer enough, but more meds did not mean living. I did everything I could to slow if not stop this freight train, but I found it had no brakes.

I could go on in details, and I will privately for anyone that is in the same position if it would be helpful, but I do not want that here. I do not want that on her remembrance.

So. I did the only thing I could do for her. The last, greatest and hardest gift I could give her. To set her free. To let her go home free of pain and suffering. To let her be happy.

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My mom drove us out to the farm that Friday afternoon where my Pops was waiting. It was threatening to rain and the clouds were growing darker. We took one last short walk in the pasture to greet the horses. Darcy was not much up for it, but I needed them. My Lito buried his head in my chest and Cheetah looked at me in that way only a special mare can. In that knowing way.

We sat on the porch and watched a light rain sprinkle and dry before our eyes while we waited.

The vet and tech arrived and they were as kind and nice as they could be. It was all very calm and peaceful. There were a lot of tears.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I have no words to explain it other than I know it was God. Those dark and threatening clouds parted in the very moment that Darcy left this earth and the sun shone through so very bright and strong. The intensity I felt I have never known and I can not describe in words. I could do nothing but smile up through my tears.

I carried her down to her final resting place with the others on the far side of the pond, under a great Pecan tree. I dipped her paws in the pond one last time so she could be farm dirty like she is supposed to be.

Back up at the house, I sat on the porch with my parents looking down the valley. I found myself looking through a heart shaped hole in the leaves of an oak tree with the sun twinkling and winking through.

I do not know how I did it other than I knew that was what I had to do.

She loved unconditionally. She more than spread joy everywhere she went, she was the living embodiment of it. An example to be made. She taught me about life and perspective. She taught me more than I could write about, here or otherwise. She was independent as heck fire and tough as nails, but she was also supremely sensitive, perceptive, and gentle. She was unabashedly herself. She was Darcy. She was my wingpup.

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She was more than just a dog.

I may not know much or why, but I do know where she is, who she is with, and where she will be waiting, putting her own spin on that angel band up there in the sky. I have no doubt that her great spirit was needed for His good. Even if it does feel like a double barrel kick in the guts. Even if it does feel at times like my heart might not even be there anymore. I am so grateful to have had her for those almost six years.

I want to thank all the vets and techs who have worked so hard to help and comfort us through all of this. My Pops who called and arranged everything because neither my Mom or I could do it, both of them for being there for us in the moment, and my whole family for checking in on me. And, I think most importantly, the vet and tech who met us out at the farm to do the job. I can not thank them enough for just being them. I do not have the words to thank you properly. Just, thank you.

Interestingly enough, this poem popped up today.

Get your tissues out, you will need more than one.


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this – the last battle – can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand
But don’t let grief then stay you hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close – we two – these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
~Unknown

 

 

Walk in love, my dear readers, we all need it.

When It Rains

This world has a lot of sayings, many that are often misunderstood. Have you ever heard the one about when it rains?

Something about it pouring?

Ya. I have heard that too. When it rains, it pours. A lot actually. I even use the phrase myself, lightly and in passing, never really giving it much thought. It has a whole new meaning to me now.

It truly is a shame that sometimes, as in right now, my life can not be like a music video. At least there would be some laughing matter.

Yes indeed, something quite like this. This looks lovely, would not you say? Kinda funny.

However, in my particular case these days, when it rains…..

It pours…

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Sorry, I am not really sorry. I do not know how to even say it without trying to make light while my heart is in my throat choking me.

This is my reality. Part of the ‘whole lotta life‘ I have been living. A curve ball so far out of left field, it came from the right, just as the fast ball barreled through the heart of home plate.

I can’t believe I am having to write this. Never did I ever think in a million years this would happen.

I have some not so good news to share. The worst possible kind.

The silent kind.

My Darcy has been diagnosed with cancer.

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What the literal heck fire on God’s green earth?!

My sweet and innocent Darcy girl. Not even six years old.

It is quite advanced and pervasive. Between ultrasound and test results, her current status and lack of appetite, my own research, and separate vet opinions, there is not a viable treatment option.

I am completely gutted. It has taken us by storm, the likes of which I have never before known. Not like a slow creeping hurricane. It feels more than rude and unfair. Human life is hard enough on its own without making the animal lives hard.

I could go on in this manner, and admittedly I have had those moments (completely broke down while driving and again on a restaurant patio with my mom), but we must be strong and positive for her. View the world and live life the way she does. Give her the best of the best. Keep playing. We have not struck out in the game of life.

So.

We celebrate the life we have, every day, and take each day as it comes. I am going to do everything I can to give her the best quality of life possible until it is her time. She can eat whatever she wants to eat, healthy diet out the window. She is going to go with me everywhere possible. We are going to have as much farm time as I can manage. We find a reason (and there are many) to sing a song through it all.

All the prayers, positive thoughts and vibes would be greatly appreciated by us both.

I do not understand this and I do not think I ever will.

Such a happy dog that brings endless joy to every being she encounters. So much greatness must be shared. Her spirit must have a greater calling.

If you have any tried and true proven ways to keep a dog eating, lay them on me. I need more tricks up my sleeve.

There is a life lesson somewhere in here. I am just working on unpacking it.

Walk in love, dear readers, even when it is dang hard. I am taking my time.

 

 

Remember Me?

Yoohoo. Hi. Over here.

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Ya. Remember me?

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Yes, me. Your long lost friend. Hi, ya. I have missed y’all!

How is it May? And how has it been two weeks since I have written you? Not sure how that quite happened. It was not intentional, that is for dang sure. I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Maybe you wish I had! Anyway, it is not for lack of goings ons. 

There has just been a lot of life going on over here in my world. Now is not the time for that though.

Not to worry and they say worrying is fruitless anyhow (spoiler alert, it is true). God has it all and me. And you. This I know with great conviction. He has been ever present throughout it all and is still here.

I will do my best to get back to writing to y’all regularly, but in the meantime, enjoy some photos of the past couple of weeks.

Life and time go on, man. It is how you use it. How you live it. How you share it. AHAmoment. Taking each and every day to be better than you were the day before. Letting God work through you for the blessings of others.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Work trips are not all that bad.

But being at the farm is better. Especially to catch the moon setting in the morning.

I do, I love you.

Getting our steps in.

Boop.

Magic.

Easter eve yoga for the Darcy dog.

A new view.

Easter morning sunrise.

Tuners with all the words to say.

Cooking is always a good idea. It is good for the soul. Roasted red pepper soup from scratch. Pretty dang good.

Until next time…which will be soon! I am spending the weekend with some of my best friends riding horses here in the great state! Even if it rains, it will be a grand time!

 

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time…

Sounds like the promise of a good story, right?

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Ha! I shall leave you to be the judge of that. There are at least some good pictures! 

Once upon a time, it rained and rained and created all kinds of mud all over the state of Texas. And everywhere else across the land. A gal named Avery was kinda busy and losing her mind for lack of riding time.

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What is that? You have heard this one? No, no, no. The ending is good. Just stick with it. OK. Where was I? Oh ya…

Then it got cold while it continued to rain. That gal named Avery became even more busy (in a good way) and wondered if she would ever be able to really ride her horses again or write to her dear readers. Please forgive that gal named Avery for falling off the face of the earth and going MIA. Time kept passing her by.

This is where it gets good.

Then one fine day, spring appeared. The rains let up. The mud dried. The horses started to lose their winter coats. The pecan trees started to bud. All of a sudden, the stars aligned and the time was right. That gal named Avery loaded up that dog named Darcy and booked it out of town. She rode by herself. She rode with important people in her life. They rode. And that is what they did. And it was glorious.

The horses lost more hair.

Darcy took some naps when she was not running or getting dirty.

They rode by the river.

They rode under the clouds and across green pastures.

They rode down to the river on the beach.

The sun came out and sunsets were watched and it was magical in more ways than one.

They rode under the trees, over logs, and among favorite blue flowers down in the river bottom listening to the breeze and the light rain in the leaves.

They watched a little rain storm roll by and felt the drops cool their skin with the threat of the last cold snap.

Then more rain and wind and cold came. But that did not stop them. Still they rode.

It got even colder, but fun was still had by all.

Manes and pony tails went everywhere.

And that is what they did.

Then all was right in the world again.

They could not be more thankful or blessed.

The end.

Best story you have ever heard, right?!

I knew it.

How is it already April?! APRIL!!!

I am back, y’all, I promise.

Walk in love, dear readers, and I will talk to you soon.

Universal

I have a question for y’all.

Are you ready? OK, then.

What are the universal languages of this world?

Do not think too hard now. You will think right on past the answer quicker than you could drive through a one stop light town.

Do you have an idea? I will give you a few more moments to ponder.

It is not quite as difficult as you may think.

Alright, I will tell you.

Love and laughter.

AHAmoment. Simple as that.

Everyone understands them. No matter what kind of words you speak or don’t speak. Every being gets them. Especially animals. They know them better than us. Which is why having animals in our lives makes us better humans. Better communicators.

Go walk in love and laughter, dear readers! Have a happy Friday.

 

Even Still

Even still I can not keep myself from being mesmerized by the rain.

The blessing is in the ‘even still.’ That is the AHA moment.

We have had so much rain as of late, but without a doubt every time it rains I find myself gazing out the window (if I can not get outside), swearing I can feel the moisture and smell the world outside. When the thunder rolls, I get a familiar warm feeling inside and I can literally feel myself smile, from the inside out. I can feel the power in it all, no matter how small the sprinkle of rain. How small I am and how grand the world is.

No matter what else is going on. All worries seem to wash away with the falling rain. It is taking that little moment to stop and clear your mind of everything but the sound and imagined feel of the rain. The moment will end itself and you can turn back around like new. Right as the rain. I had one of those moments today while at work in my office.

It is no secret to longer time readers that I have a thing for storms, despite all the apparent complaining I have been doing as of late about the rain.


Petrichor. Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions” or as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

That smell. That rain smell really is something. Even rain on wet ground still has a distinct smell, just different than that of rain on dry ground. So strong and familiar. Paining memories and feelings in your soul that last.

Interestingly enough, I was talking with my Mamma on the phone earlier about the appreciation you have for things you do not get to see or experience all the time. How you might not get those same feelings you did if you had access to them all the time.

I think I do not agree with that. Maybe it is just my personality, but I think I would still feel the same. I have many ‘even still’ moments.

Even still, I am stopped dead in my tracks, utterly captivated, by every sunset and sunrise I am blessed to see. The uniqueness. The colors. The shapes. The dichotomy of the movement coupled with the blatant stillness. That they are there every single day for every living being on this earth whether or not you can see them.

Even still, all it takes is a minute with my animals for the world to feel right and peaceful. For me to feel and see light. Remember what IT is all about. It is amazing to me. Amazing grace. To see my Darcy dog smile at me and be her weird, unabashed self. To sit atop either of my dun horses and feel their breathing. Their strength of gentleness. Their trust and willingness. Their innocence and teachings. To know and feel that they are a blessing I am supposed to have.

 

Hippie dippie? Maybe. I will go get my Birkenstocks to wear with my wool socks. All kidding aside, these things I could never tire of, no matter how much I get of them. This I do not think is a surprise to most people that know me.

Tell me your ‘even still’ moments?

Walk in love, dear readers!

In other news, Lito and I ran into the trailer together on Sunday. All brave and confident. He turned his head to look at me and his expression all but said in plain English, “See, I can do this again, can we go somewhere and do something new?”

 

 

Daily Dose Of Cute

We are long overdue for a Daily Dose Of Cute over here!

I would also bet y’all are excited for me to quit being a broken record, talking only about how I have not been able to ride because of the rain and mud (literally I think that is all I ever say here these days). While that is all still true, this gal was actually able to ride this weekend! I even took my time grooming and braiding just because that is what I wanted to do.

“Excuse me, mom, I am the center of attention here, not Chance. Take my photo.”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Is this my  best side?”

Lito clearly thinks this is his best side.

Now it is time for a little Darcy love. Darcy has the most love of all to give to everyone. All smiles and words of affirmation from that girl.

It was so foggy Saturday. We basically lived in a cloud for half of the day.

You may not know her in real life, but she smiles for real and talks for real. Maybe not in English, but she sure as heck knows the language. If not English than the language of love.

An unexpected surprise to me, our office was closed yesterday and I got an extra sunny day for some bareback play.

Cheetah was extra lovey.

Complete with molasses tub all over her face.

 

I also have a sunset for you. You know, just for good measure. You can never have too much animal cuteness and sunrises/sunsets.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Starting Tomorrow…December

Being as it is the last day in November and tomorrow is the first day in December.

It is officially time to get into the Christmas spirit!

And these guys here, they agree with me. It is a fact.

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The best time of the year!

The reason for the season. The music. The decorations. The traditions. The family time. The food.

All of this means I have something for you. Yes, YOU! Starting tomorrow. On December 1st. Do not you forget!

So. For you.

To help get you in the spirit of The Spirit, I have arranged a series of my favorite Christmas songs to be posted on the AHAmoments Facebook page starting tomorrow and continuing all month long (you can click the link above or on the ‘f’ Facebook icon on the right side panel of your screen)!

I know, just what you wanted for Christmas!

You know how I love to share music. Do yourself the favor and check back in over there often and have a listen. It will not disappoint! You may even hear some of your favorites or gain a new one! It is going to be a fun month of some of the best Christmas songs. Do me a favor and share your favorites with me!

But, wait, there more! And you will not have to pay $19.99 to get it!

I answered this questionnaire last year about Christmas since, you know, I love it, and I figured I would share it with you again here. I liked reading it again. It may give you ideas for your own Christmas and help put it all in perspective.


1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.
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2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!
3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.
4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?
Next question.
5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know
6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.
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It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marketing and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.
7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…
Hard to not cry.
8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.
9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?
Yes.
I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.
That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.
10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Share with me your favorite Christmas songs or what you do to get into the Christmas Spirit!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Light

Let us talk for a minute about light. Y’all know I have a thing for it. That sounds like a funny thing to say, but you get what I mean. Especially there at the farm.


“In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.”
~Hans Hofmann

On Thursday of last week I went out to the farm for a delayed midweek visit because I was going to be out of town over the weekend to attend a baby shower for Sister K. The ground was soup again (or still, I guess) and there was no riding to be had, so I just fed everyone and hung out. Enjoyed the clean, clear, and cool air and the sounds of happily eating animals.

The cows were a bit miffed to only be getting hay to eat. As if they do not live on an all you can eat buffet.

After turning the horses out I walked out into the pasture with them and then on down to the pond. Thinking to myself all the while, “maybe I will get some good sunset shots over the water.”

What a passing thought to have.

You could already tell there was something special in the air that day. In the very light itself. It was like a magnet pulling me in. A veritable beacon. Can you see it there? Down the valley? In the tip of Cheetah’s tail?

I mean. Just look at that mare next to that pecan tree.

This little one was intrigued by me crouching in the grass. Or she just wanted to model. Only she knows the real answer.

I turned back around to see that the horses had meandered down and a gaggle of calves had moved in.

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Anyway, I went a little further down, closer to the pond and looked to my left. I raised my phone camera and snapped two pictures.

I just stood there in wonder for a few moments.

Do you see it? In these two photos together? What if you imagined them together, combined into one image? One on top of the other?

Do you see the cross in the light?

I do not even have words for that.


 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~John 8:12



“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

~1 John 1:5



“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

~John 1:5



“The obviously well kept secret of the “ordinary” is that it is made to be a receptacle of the divine, a place where the life of God flows.”

~Dallas Willard


Ordinary. Extraordinary.

Darcy was feeling it too.

But then again, Darcy is always feeling it. Animals get it.

What a moment.

Thank you for letting me share this moment with you.

Let your lights shine. It is bright within you!

Walk in love, dear readers!