Monthly Archives: February 2011
Nikki came into my life by accident truth be told. Growing up, I always loved horses and I was always around them in one way or another. More than anything in the world, I wanted to be a Large Animal Vet- focusing primarily on farm animals. So it was no surprise to anyone when I landed one of my first jobs on a Horse Farm. It was a large Standardbred Farm in Glen Gardner, NJ..Stonegate Farms was the name of it. I don’t recall how I came upon it, but it just happened and it was there that I spent the next almost 5 years of my life. I was 19 back then and the only real thing I had to worry about was making my rent and paying my phone bill (I was fortunate enough that my father had been buying me cars and paying my insurance up to that point-NO, not nice cars, but cars that would get me from point A to point B).
My job there would be mainly mucking and feeding the horses, and the various other duties that came along with working on a working horse farm. The winters were bitterly cold and the summers were hotter than tar on a hot road in the middle of August. None of that bothered me none, I was where I was supposed to be . To me, there was nothing more exhilarating than stepping out of my car on a hazy foggy summer morning and hearing them calling to me in the distance..I could barely make out their figures out in the pastures, but every now and then I would see a swish of a tail or a bobbing of a head, and slowly but surely they would make their way up to the fence to greet me. “Morning girls, how are we this morning?”.
The farm I worked on was a breeding farm, I was lucky enough to witness the breeding of a horse to the foaling of a sweet, gentle long-legged, clumsy little one. Oh, people like to say, “Once you see one, there all just the same”..not to me, no siree! Every birth was unique and wonderful in its own right! I’ve seen life come and I’ve seen life go in the world of horses many a time. I could sit in an open field or on a fence and watch those horses for what would feel like forever and never get tired or bored. They are mysterious and magical and beautiful.
My favorite thing to do is to press my face up against their nose and breath in their sweet breathe, their nostrils would flare and they’d breathe a little heavier and I’d breathe a little heavier and soon, I’d be blowing into their nose and they’d be blowing right back, ears at attention and straight ahead, eyes nearly crossed trying to look at me. I’d never last long because I’d end up laughing, but boy did I love that smell. It was the smell that everything in the world was right in that moment. No one else was standing there but me and this magnificent being and I felt so small in comparison, but yet I felt so protected and complete. “Go on, I’ve got work to do..” and just like that we’d part our ways..we’d both walk away, but it wasn’t long before we’d both look back to make sure the other was still within eyesight..”Go on, I’m not goin’ anywhere..I’ll be right over there”..they understood me, they always did, but yet, much like myself, they still needed to occasionally look over to be sure that I have not left, and that I was still there. I could feel their heavy eyes on my back and I’d often find myself talking out loud back to them..”I know your watching me, I said I wasn’t goin’ no where” Silly me, if anyone would have heard me they would have thought I’ve gone and lost my mind.
I was 19 and at 19 I thought I was put on this earth to save all the horses in the world from any kind of harm they may have been facing in their life. You see, they were a lot like me and I was like them. I was a free spirit, and all I wanted to do was to blend in to the background, to be loved and to be treated gently and kindly. Oh, don’t get me wrong, every day was not as blissful as I make it sound, I’ve been bit, kicked, thrown, sneered at and bullied by some of those horses! If they were anymore like me or vice versa, I’d be one of them! I’ve gone round and round with quite a few of them! Battle of the wills for sure..”You best get your rear end out of my face girl!” all the while she is shoving me closer and closer to the corner of her stall..she knew full well what she was doing. I wasn’t the new girl on the block! That game has been played OUT around these parts! “SLAM!” went her hoof into the wall of her stall..3 inches to the left and that “SLAM” would have been my stomach! “Oh NO you did NOT!” I yelled as the beads of sweat were now full force dripping down my face, I don’t care who you are, but when put into that situation you do get an adrenaline rush of sorts! She’s just scared, most of em’ are that act that way. Someone or something has hurt them at some point in their life, it’s fight or flight, much like us, they do what they need to do to protect themselves. You certainly can’t hate them for that.
I was probably working at the farm for about 2 years when I learned of a horse that needed a home. It was my understanding that he was a young gelding that was living in someone’s backyard with a bunch of other miscellaneous animals. Well, it took me all of 5 minutes to decide that he was coming home with me! I hadn’t even asked my neighbor if I could rent a stall yet “YES! I want him!”…”He’s very green and he’s very skittish”..”I WANT HIM!”.
It took about a week for me to get things in order and I swear I was on cloud 9. The day arrived and the trailer pulled up to the barn and it rocked back and forth as “MY” horse was waiting to be let out. OH MY GOD! MY HORSE!! The trailer door dropped down and there here was. He was gorgeous, he was beautiful, he was..be still my beating heart..mine. I was shaking..I was crying..He’s home..he’s..he’s..JUST NEARLY KILLED ME BACKING OUT OF THE TRAILER! Ayup, he flew out the back so fast he took me out and walked over the top of me. Isn’t it just like my luck that I would end up with something like this?! No manners, stubborn as all get out and demanded constant attention! Well, I never laughed so hard in all my life this had to be a joke! He’s ME! You stubborn little puke! Your just like me and you and me..we are gonna get along just fine..
Nikki, he was my everything. He was my knight in shining armour. Nikki was not quite 15 hands, he was a dappled grey stocky little guy. His mane and tail was white and he had a little white diamond on his forehead that blended into the dapples, you really had to look hard to notice it was there, but it was there alright, I should know, I’ve stared at him for hours at a time. I’ve listened to him breathe on a summers eve when he ate and I sat at the doorway of his stall. I knew every nook and cranny of his stocky body. He knew me, he knew when I was coming before I even go there. He called for me at night and I loved to listen to his hooves pound the ground as he ran away from me playing hard to get..he loved when I chased him. No really he did! We played this game where I would go into his pasture and I’d greet him and we’d kiss (nose to nose) and I’d talk to him and he’d act as if he was interested in what I had to say while he was nibbling at my shoes or trying to untie them. I would suddenly pick up and run away..as fast as I could and he’d wait a second or two and then come after me..my heart would race and I’d do it over and over again and he would chase me..snorting and carrying on. He loved it, I loved it..we meshed. He was my boy. He got me and I got him. If I close my eyes I could still smell him, I smell like him, he’s all over me..I hear him sometimes on a hot summer’s night in the distant. He’s calling for me to make sure I’m still there, making sure I can hear him, looking for the reassurance that I’m there for him. “I won’t ever leave you”..I whispered those words into his ears more times than I care to admit. “I love you Nikki”.
Time went on, years went by and he was my constant. I grew older as did he, life went on and I got pregnant with my oldest. I was very, very sick with him and I could barely care for Nikki, but I would be sure his needs were always met, if I could not do it, I found someone who would. I missed him terribly and my heart ached for him.
The time came when I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life, I moved to PA. I couldn’t afford to take him with me, the rent I was paying was nearly non-existent at the time, but now I had a baby and I needed to get a real job and the rental fees for a barn out here was something that was just out of my reach.
What I am about to divulge is something I’ve never been able to write down, let alone talk about it out loud. I walked away from my sweet Nikki. I knew he’d be cared for, I knew who I was leaving him with..I didn’t leave him in terms of leaving him all alone with no one to care for him, but I mine as well have. I did the one thing that I promised I would never ever do to him. I abandoned him. I have this vision in my head that never goes away of him waiting for me by his stall door, swaying back and forth and calling out for me. My sweet, sweet guy. The one constant in my life that gave me joy and a reason to wake up every morning, I left. No more running together in the field, no more calling for me in the darkness, but I can still hear you..I still hear you calling out for me and I call back to you and wonder if you hear me..if you feel me..if you know how much I loved you. The pain runs through my heart like a hot poker stick when I think of you..my nose fills with your scent and I almost feel as if i reach out I will feel your silky mane..and I could still run my fingers through it, and you’ll make that squeaky little noise that you like to make because you think I’m going to feed you.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you trusted me and I walked away from you. It wasn’t easy and I still think of you every.single.day. I like to think mostly about the times I would just sit and watch you out in the field. The sun bounced off your body like fireflies through the trees, and your tail would occasionally swish away those annoying bugs. I was in awe of you. I didn’t know what I did to deserve you and I wanted to smother you with my love and affection. I was starving for what you had to offer me..unconditional love. I hope that I gave you everything that you needed to make you happy because I know you did that for me. You had my undivided attention and love for ten long years and I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything that money could buy.
KC’s Royal Nikki..you were every bit as regal as your name was..you made me love when everyone else in my life gave me reason not to. Thank you.
I really do love Florence and the Machine..she brings me to a place in my head that I cannot quite describe..anway, awhile back this video went viral and I think it is so damn cute..it brings a smile to my face and makes me want to jump and dance around like nothing else matters in the world.
It’s shortly after 7pm and I’m sitting here watching or trying not to watch my husband pack for yet another trip overseas. It never gets any easier, no matter how many times he has done this over the course of our marriage.
I cannot quite capture the range of emotions that I go through when the time comes for him to go away. You see, I’m a product of, how shall I say..a dysfunctional childhood. I carry around a lot of old baggage of abandonment, baggage that quite frankly I wish would go find it’s way to someone else’s doorstep or closet or wherever it feels most comfortable. When I was a little girl, probably around the age of 3 years old, my mother decided that it would be best that I go live with my father, apparently at the time she felt that he could do a much better job than she ever could at raising me. I mean, you know, because as she says, she could hardly take care of herself let alone a small child like myself.
The day my mother left me was a day that I often play over and over again in my head. My father was just dropping me off after a visit with him, I remember him pulling up into our/her driveway and her walking out the door to greet us with something in her hand, but she had it hid behind her back. My father was holding me in his arms and she walked up and pulled out this huge Snoopy doll. You see, at the time I loved Snoopy, Snoopy was everything to me, and little did I know he would be the one constant in my life from then on out. I remember taking Snoopy and hugging it and of course, really had no idea what was going on. My father left and we walked inside, the next thing I knew I was in her car and before I knew it, I was at my grandparents house and it was dark out.
We walked in and I don’t recall seeing my grandparents. My mother lifted me up onto the counter and she was crying. I was still clutching my Snoopy doll, and she handed me a picture of her and I together and she also handed me her Simon game (do you remember that game?). Let me first say that her Simon game was something that I was never allowed to play with, yet here she was giving it to me. She kissed me and told me that someday she would explain everything to me and that she loved me, and then she was gone. I was still sitting on the counter and I remember crying, because even at 3, I knew something was wrong.
My grandfather walked in (Opa) and he pulled me from the counter and I can remember crying and crying and crying. He walked me into the living room and took the picture from my hand, the picture that I was holding onto for dear life, the picture that was the only thing left that I had from my mother, well that and Snoopy and that dumb Simon game. I remember him reading the back of the picture to me, but yet I cannot recall the words, because they were just words amidst my crying and sobbing. “I want my mommy..I want my mommy”. My grandfather was pacing back and forth..for the love of Christ, how the hell do you comfort a child who’s mother just walked out on them? How do you tell them that it is going to be okay, when the one person in their life just left them? How do you look down into a set of deep dark brown eyes and tell them that their mother will not be coming back for them? The mother is supposed to be the one constant in a child’s life, who’s hugs are supposed to fix everything that has gone wrong in their day.. Who is supposed to be the one who picks you up when you fall..Who’s smile should be the last thing you see before you close your eyes at night.
I cannot begin to describe the range of emotions that I went through that day and every hour/day/week year after that. Dinah came to visit me every once and again and I spent the whole time crying, instead of being happy to see her, all I could do was cry, why? Because I knew I’d only have to say good-bye to her in a short amount of time. I never wanted to let her go, I wanted to hold her and beg her to please not leave me, to please take me with her, to please love me and I promise that I will never do anything bad again..if only..if only I could go with her. Doesn’t she not love me? How could she not love me? How? How could she look at me and walk away from me? I look just like her. I talk just like her. She is my mother. If she could walk away from me, then how, how could anyone else in my life want to stay with me? How could anyone else really love me in my life?
and so..began the cycle..the push you before you push me cycle. Year after year, brick after brick the wall around my heart and my soul became bullet proof. I became scared, scared of everything that love stood for, I questioned everybody’s intentions. Why were they in my life? What could they possibly want with me? I had nothing to offer, shit, my own mother saw nothing worthwhile in me. Go away! GO AWAY! I will hurt you and I will push you so that you won’t want to be a part of my life. There is nothing to see here…move along. This cycle played out in my life for many many years. I have had my relationships, whether it be friendships or boyfriends and as I figured, nothing ever lasted. For some reason, people were drawn to me and it made my skin crawl, they were getting to close, they were beginning to want me to reciprocate the emotions, the feelings. I could barely breathe at the thought of having to show anyone how much they meant to me. It was a constant, GO AWAY! No! please don’t leave me. It was exhausting. I was exhausted and I was angry.
Then came Greg, by that time I had my share of failed relationships and I wasn’t really looking for anything, but for whatever reason, the minute I saw him and talked to him, I knew. I just knew. Time went on and we became more and more friendly and I was already in love with him and that terrified me. Terrified me. There was something different about him, no matter how hard I pushed him and boy did I push, he pushed right back. I don’t think he really knew what to do with me, but I knew he loved me as much as I loved him. We fought a lot in the early stages and it was purely due to the fact that I kept pushing and pushing and dammit he wouldn’t leave! What the hell is wrong with this guy? He loved me, that was the problem.
My husband and I have been through more shit than people who have been married for years have been through, believe me when I say this. We have made it through the worst storms that God has thrown our way. We handled it and it was not always pretty, and sometimes it was downright scary. I’m a hard person to live with, because you see, I still push. I still test boundaries, because I’ve been conditioned from a very early age that nothing is ever really permanent and that people do leave. I still question why he is with me.. yes, I ask him this on the worst of my days. I wonder what he sees in me, does he think I’m funny? Does he think I’m beautiful and pretty and cute? Do I make him laugh? Am I all that he thought I would be? Does he think I’m a good mother to our children?…but mostly, I wonder sometimes out loud, sometimes quietly, if he is going to leave me.
So by now, his suitcase is packed and here I sit and I silently wonder if he will come back to me after this trip..just like I do every time he packs his suitcase to leave. It’s never easy for me, because I deal with the whole other range of emotions. I panic, I get scared, I turn into the little girl sitting on the counter holding on to her Snoopy doll for dear life..wondering if I’m worth it enough to come back to..because in my heart I will always be that little girl that was left alone on the counter…my husband has filled a void in my life that I don’t even think he realizes he signed up for.
Sometimes I think I need a new Snoopy doll..because Snoopy made things a little easier on my heart.
ARE YOU MY FRIEND?
Will you be there when I’m down,
And catch me when I fall?
Will you hold me when I need
To feel the warmth of your touch?
Will you laugh when I laugh,
And cry when I cry?
Will you let me rant and rave,
When I need to let off steam?
Will you discuss those painful things,
That you’d rather not think about?
Like the times we’ve hurt each other,
And promised would never do so again?
Will you say the right thing,
When all I’ve heard is the wrong?
And tell me soothing words,
That make the pain I feel subside?
Will you understand me when I say,
“I can’t see you now, go away”?
Will you come back when I call,
As if nothing happened at all?
If you’ll do these things for me,
And keep smiling all the way.
If you’ll be with me through the bad times,
As well as the good.
Then truly you are my friend,
My pal, my mate and my confidante.
And that means so much to me.
I thank you dearly, for being there,
You, My Friend.
Did you ever find yourself in one of those relationships where you were not sure what you were getting out of it anymore? I mean a few days could go by and your perfectly content with not talking to that person? At what point do you make the leap to just walk away? I think everyone goes through this at a point in their lives. I have been faced with this a couple of times in the last 6 months or so.
When I think about a friend, I think of someone who has your back no matter what, someone who is truly happy for you when things are good in your life and is truly sad with you when things are not so good in your life. A friend is someone who you can be yourself around, not be afraid to let your hair down and certainly not afraid to speak your true feelings to. A friend is someone who shuts up long enough to hear what you have to say, even if it’s something you have already said. A friend does not care if there is something that you do better than they do and a friend won’t ever try to show you up , compete with you or make a fool of you in front of other people.
I think a good friendship is something that is earned, with a lot of time and certainly with a lot trust and respect. I don’t personally have a lot of friends, I have maybe one or two good friends that I know would be there for me no matter what. The others honestly are questionable. I am a hard person to get to know, I’ll admit, that is my downfall. I don’t trust easily and I have high expectations in a friendship. I know a lot of people think they can *crack* me or* break* through my walls if they try hard enough, let me warn you up front that very few have and one of those few happen to be my husband. I keep a lot of what I’m feeling inside, but what I am is a person that cares about other people something fierce. If you have managed to make it past my walls, I will always be by your side and I will always protect you the best that I can. I will always be there for you at the drop of a dime and when you hurt, I’ll hurt and when your happy, I’m happy.
Let me also say this, if you do something to hurt me, whether it be by something you said or you did, it takes me a very long time to come around and sadly, sometimes, I just won’t come around anymore. I lose interest, I lose interest in you and what you have to say. I will begin to think differently of you, and I will begin to wonder why we became friends in the first place. I have had a few of those relationships in my life as well, some have stayed and redeemed themselves and sadly some have never made it back into my life. Life is too short for me to waste my time on people who don’t have my best interest at hand.
Perhaps this sounds crass and mean, but, like I said..I take friendship very seriously. I have been through so much in my life and much of what I feel is guarded and protected, but if you take the time to really know me and to really love me and care for me, you truly will reap the reward of having someone in your life that will always be by your side, that will always try to have your best interest at heart, that will be there to laugh with you, cry with you and to grow old with you..
Don’t ever take a friendship for granted..at the blink of an eye, it can disappear.