When I was 8 years old, mom sat me down and told me that our family would be moving from the Seattle area to New Bern, NC where dad would be working for a couple of years. “Do you have any questions?”, she asked. I had just one. Would my pony, the thing cared about more than anything, be going with us? “No,” mom said, “Fella will have to stay here”. It’s one of the most vivid memories from my childhood…..and lesson one in letting go…..
We returned to Washington a couple of years later and I got new horses, two of which I raised from foals, broke and trained myself, and loved more than anything. I showed my horses in 4H shows, competing against girls with professionally trained horses and expensive tack. I rarely won but I was competitive, with horses that I trained myself and tack that I purchased with money earned cleaning kennels at a local veterinary hospital. When the time came to go to college, I was expected to sell my horses to help pay for school and, as hard as that was, I had to let go. Years later, my 4H leader told me that one of those horses, which had been sold to an acquaintence of hers, had been sold for horsemeat a year or two after I went to college. Nothing in my life has ever crushed me more than hearing that news….
Now I breed dogs…….and when people come to see my puppies, they often ask “How can you let them go?” Those who have my dogs know how very careful I am in selecting homes for my puppies. The lesson learned, from the horse that I let go years ago, is reflected in the care that I take……but I let my puppies go. I laugh and tell them….”LOL! There comes a point when there’s just too much poop!”….and I let my puppies go…..out into the world to serve the purpose for which they were bred…..to be a special part of someone’s life….
Two years ago, when she turned 18, Marie left home for Michigan. It was tough to let her go…..she was making decisions that I didn’t agree with…..but I let her go. I had raised her well and she had lessons to learn……she would be ok. Today she’ll return home with her new husband and members of his family….and we look forward to a fun week together. Marie is happy and she’s worked hard to make a good life for herself…..we’re very proud of her….
Soon I’ll have to let Amanda go, too. She came from school for the last time yesterday with tears in her eyes, having just said good-bye to the teachers who had meant so much to her over the last four years. It won’t be the same next year, without her here. We’re very close and we constantly make each other laugh….but it’s time to let her go…..
The lesson that I’ve from all of this is acceptance. Acceptance that there is a plan for my life…..facing what comes my way, learning from it and moving on. “Moving on” cheerfully and with a sense of humor if at all possible. 🙂
I’m reading a memoir by NHL survivor, Hamilton Jordan, “No Such Thing As A Bad Day”, and in it, he talks about getting the news that he had cancer. Many people go through a series of emotions when they get the news: denial, anger, bargaining with God, depression….and finally acceptance. Like me, Mr. Jordan skipped over all of that other stuff and went straight to acceptance. There was no denial, the evidence was pretty clear. Anger…..at who, at what? Bargain with God…..LOL! No. God has lessons for me to learn…..and perhaps lessons for me to teach to others. It’s best that I just accept that fact and move on. Depression? No….I’m happy! I’ve had a good life, I’ve raised two intelligent and talented daughters, I’ve bred a group and specialty winning red & white beagle…..what more could I want!!?? 🙂
No……I’ll just skip all of that other stuff and go straight to acceptance. I have a fascinating journey ahead and whether I beat this thing…..or if, once again, I have to let go……I can accept that.