Happy St. Patrick’s Day Eve. More importantly, happy March 16th. March 16th is the day before March 17th and March 17th is a really, really special day. March 17th is Star’s birthday.. and Star is my horse.
Or.. she was. As you may remember, she’s dead now. Dead as a door nail – 100 pounds of ash stuffed in a wooden box. There’s an entire blog post dedicated to the whole chaotic catastrophe that was the end of her life, but that is not the topic for today. Today, we talk about the day she was born.
Star graced the Earth with her presence on St. Patrick’s Day, in 1996, most likely like a freight train – loud, heavy, and a force to be reckoned with. (I assume, I wasn’t there). She entered into the universe ready to show the all the cowboys and cowgirls exactly what a wild horse looked like, untethered by rules or any form of training. She spent her days demonstrating her utmost independence, her general distaste for rules, and her undeniable zest for life… and eating. She was wild, and a little spastic, and free. Star was a star in every sense of the word: beautiful, bright, hot (tempered), and easy to fixate your eyes on. She was the star of my show, the star of my entire universe, and honestly, she was the star of her own universe as well. Star loved Star, her BFF Susie, and maybe me.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, I loved her a lot. I loved her for more than half of my life, more than half of her life. We shared 15 adventure-filled years together – celebrating her birthday and ignoring every single St. Patrick’s Day, as if I am not at least 50% Irish. (😬, sorry grandparents – priories, ya know?) I have always loved celebrating my friends and she was no different.
So yes, tomorrow is her birthday and she won’t be here for it. But, I’m not going to be sad. Actually, there are several things that I will not be doing:
I’m not going to undermine her life. I’m not going to downplay her loss because she was an animal and animals die every day. I’m not going to tell myself “she was just a horse”, because to me, she was so much more. She was a friend and a safe place.
I’m not going to compare – I know that there are people in our world that have unfortunately lost parents, and children, and spouses. I know I am blessed that by all of life still around me. But today, I’m not going to let my many, many blessings convince me that I do not have the right be sad about her loss. I am not going compare my loss of Star to someone else’s tragic loss, or allow myself to believe that she is somehow less of a loss, because she was a horse. The enormity of her life and her impact in my life was simply too profound to reduce to “she was just a pet.”
I’m not going to feel guilty. I am not going to chastise myself for feeling like my world came crashing down with her loss sometimes, even though there are people all over world that are losing their family, friends, homes, and countries.. right this moment. I’m not going to tell myself that I have to feel guilty for missing Star and wishing she was here, because there is hardship, illness, and strife taking over the world. I am not going to let the ugliness that is the world take away from the beauty that was her life. It’s two separate topics that do not coexist in the same realm. I am going to allow myself to be sad because Star is not here, and be sad that Ukraine is under attack, and not categorize one as more heartbreaking. They are both heartbreaking, but differently heartbreaking.
I’m not going to tell myself how lucky I was to love and be loved by her as a way to take away the detriment of her absence. I refuse hold myself hostage to our 15 beautiful years together, 15 birthdays. Her life is so much further reaching than 15 years and her lifetime, and while it is true that I had 15 years with her, and 15 birthdays with her, tomorrow is her birthday and she won’t be here. Those 15 years, while amazing, don’t take away the fact that she is not here. Right now. I’m not going to tell myself that they somehow erase the pain of her loss.
She was a huge part of my life and I’m not going to feel bad that I miss that part of my life and her existence on this planet. But, I’m not going to be sad.
That would not be what she would have wanted for me, and honestly, that’s not what I want for myself. I may be nostalgic. I may be reminiscent. But I won’t be sad.
Star made me happy, she made me feel comfortable and accepted. She made me feel unique, and adventurous, and brave. I have seldom felt as in control of myself and my mind, as I did on her back. She was safe. I lost that when I lost her. I have, and always will, chase that feeling every day for the rest of natural my life. In the two and half years that she has been gone, I have yearned for this feeling again – the feeling of carefree, relaxed, bliss.
Random acts of kindness bring about this kind of joy and a Star-brand of contentment. When in doubt, Act of Kindness it out (I am so going to coin this as my personal motto)! So that’s what I have decided to do for her birthday this year – to honor her and her memory. I have an entire day of small acts of kindness planned. Being kind, and surprising others, and making people smile, exactly like Star always did for me.
So no, I’m not going to be sad. I’m going to be kind, I’m going to be brave, I am going to smile and remember all of the good memories. I’m going to chase that feeling of pure, unadulterated, joy that she always brought out of me..
and I know she’ll be right by my side, in the spirit world, probably trying to kick me or steal all the treats.
Happy birthday, Star. I am not going to lie and say I don’t wish you were here, but I am going value the time spent, the love shared, and all the messy memories in between. I’m not sad today. I love you, my baby, forever.
There are sunny daze ahead my sweet friends, EVEN tomorrow. 🌞