Tuesday, June 1, 2010

When You Make a Promise, Keep It

Last week I decided I'd post examples from my own life that exemplify what I felt was the ten-step guide to my life: The Code of the West. Every day (or at least almost every day) I've covered one part of that code. Tonight is "When you make a promise, keep it."

Let's be honest, sometimes it's just impossible to keep our promises. Life happens, and the best of intentions sometimes fall by the wayside. However, there is one promise I made, six years ago, that I intend to see through until the end: my promise to Eddie.

When I first saw Eddie one night, by the light of a flashlight, I had no idea that this sad horse who had already been through so much in his short life would, in fact, change my own life. All I knew is that he was wonderful and had an incredible strength I admired so very much.

It took me four months to finally get possession of him and when I did, I promised him I would do everything in my power to make sure he was never hungry, never unneccessarily hurt, never want for anything again.

It still makes me cry, to think about everything he went through. Those first few weeks I had him were such a trial: multiple vets, farrier, referral to K-state, x-rays, and a threat from the owner of the stables that if he brought anything contageous in at all that I'd be responsible for every bill that came of it on the place.

We got through it all, though, and Eddie soon flourished.

He moved to Arizona, back to Kansas, and then Texas with me. When I moved to Kansas City to try to get better employment my wonderful friend Vicki took care of Eddie for me in Texas while I tried to get my life in order, so while I wasn't able to personally see to his care, I knew he was in great hands.

I wanted to bring Eddie to Kansas City with me, but I knew Eddie would not be happy in a boarding situation and at the time I had to get an apartment and had no place for Eddie, so I made the difficult decision to lease him out. Eddie went to go stand at stud in Oregon. It was a trying time and I missed him terribly, but he came back to me. He wasn't hungry and he didn't suffer as he had before. While I am meticulous about his care and disappointed my instructions weren't carried through, I still feel like I did my best, under difficult circumstances, to keep my promise to Eddie.

Now Eddie's days are winding down. He literally is on his last leg and there are days when he does great, but other days when I know he is tiring. I knew no matter how long I had him, the time would always be way too short. That is the trade-off one must accept when they have such a wonderful creature in their lives.

I'll be with Eddie until the end, and when the time comes, I will have fulfilled my promise to him, to never be hungry, never suffer, and never be for want of any neccessity every again. I hope I've given him a good life. It was a promise I made to him and to myself as well six years ago that night, when I first saw him by the light of a flashlight.

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