Our Charlie Angel received her wings as she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday, March 25, 2009. I received a call from my vet Tuesday at lunch that her blood work was not good. In fact, it was not good news at all and confirmed my worst fears. Charlie, our two year-old filly, had cancer and that she was in Kidney failure.
I don’t think I heard everything the doctor told me other than Cancer and Kidney Failure. I thanked him for the information and told him I would contact him back when I had made the arrangements with putting her down.
Margie graciously told me that we could let her stay right here where she was born so I did not have to call the company that would come and pick her up after the Vet put her down. It was comforting to know that she would not be going to that place.
My friend Sue took me to the barn so that I could spend time with Charlie and let her know what was going on – probably for my own sake rather than hers. I groomed her and I cut a piece of her beautiful creamy white mane to have. I told her that she was very special because God was calling her home to be with him and that he must have some very important business for her to call her up so soon for her wings.
During this time it began to pour sheets of rain – the downspouts looked like firemen’s houses. It continued to do this for what seemed like hours. I called the vet at 5:50pm to confirm that we would still be able to put Charlie down that night and they said that because of the rain we would need to wait until tomorrow. During this time it was literally pouring buckets and I watched the water rise in the pond as the water fell. I got off the phone with the Doctor and sat on a bale of hay and just poured my heart out to God. I wanted to make sure that I was doing the right thing and if he could just give me a sign – any sign – that I was and that Charlie was going to be okay. About this time the rain just stopped – from pouring to nothing. The sun came out, the birds began to sing and as I stepped from the barn I was taken aback by what I saw. A double rainbow was in front of me and the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen. Charlie’s Rainbow.
God spoke to me and I felt comfort in knowing that Charlie was going to be okay. He showed me the rainbow bridge that she would be using to cross over to him and that was all I needed.
It doesn’t make what I had to do any easier but it did give me comfort that Charlie was going to a place where she would be able to, once again, run free without pain and kick up her heels as she once did down here.
This reminded me of a prayer that I once read and though intended for parents of human children, I put a change on it for all of us horse people.
After Charlie crossed over and became Charlie Angel, I thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to know and love his beautiful creature. It was an honor to care for her while she was here and to love her the way we did. It doesn’t make it any easier but it is comforting to know that she is with God and in no pain.
To All Horse Parents
“I’ll lend you, for a little while, a Horse of mine,” He said.
For you to love while she lives and mourn when she is dead.
It may be two or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, ‘til I call her back, take care of her for me?
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you, and shall her stay be brief,
You’ll have her lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, as all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this horse to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love – not think the labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come to call to take her back again.
I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, thy will be done.”
For all the joy this horse shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shower her with tenderness and love her while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
And should the angels call for her much sooner than we planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.”
To those who think – Why all the stress over an animal – then I feel sorry for you in not knowing the joys of interacting with these beautiful creatures.
Suzanne Clothier is quoted as saying –
“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.”
We willing loved and then let go of Charlie and Thanked God for the opportunity he gave us and look forward to many more of these opportunities of knowing, loving more of his beautiful creatures and that my special Charlie Angel will be watching over us.
To everyone who has prayed, left messages, e-mailed, called or said something to me in person – Thank you for your support. James and I truly appreciate everything!