Happiness is owning a chestnut mare.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our biggest supporter is gone...

This is going to be a sad post. So don't read it if you don't like sad posts. I am not a sad post kind of gal, but it must be done. My beautiful grandma passed away today aka Mother's Day. I was fortunate enough to be able to get the day off of work (thank you SO MUCH Tory) and go up to Buffalo to spend the day with my family. At first I thought I was going up to see my grandma for a little while, then spend the rest of the day painting one of the rooms in my parents house (she was going to come and live with them, so my mom wanted fresh paint). Then I got the phone call in the morning saying that I had to come up NOW. Needless to say my hour drive took about 40 minutes. Fortunately I was able to sit in bed with her for most of the day with my family and I got to have some alone time with her. I think she could hear me talking to her, at least I hope she could, cause I said a lot! 

Anyway, I need to dedicate a post to her because she has always been my biggest horsey-supporter. This woman loved animals almost as much as she loved her family (then again, to her animals were family). I definitely got my love of animals from her. The look she got in her eyes whenever she was around any of our animals was of such pure love and joy. It is the look that describes the way that I feel inside when I look at them. 

It was my grandma's idea for me to start riding. She was the one that told my parents to send me to horseback riding camp (the one that I made them promise I could quit if I didn't like it-see my first post). She watched my shows, from the time that Doobie bucked in a w/t/c class (she never wanted me to ride him again! haha) or when Stretch and I decided to do an extended canter in the w/t/c division and Susie had to scream for everyone to stop.

She and my grandpa helped me buy Ally. She loved to come out and watch me ride her and she really loved to groom her. I think that she was happiest when Pete and I won Champion of our division at the Erie County Fair back in 2006. Right up until the end she loved telling everyone about how she came to watch me win champion of the show and how I was always the best one out there. When I was at her apartment today I noticed that she still had a picture of us going over a jump in that show on her refrigerator. 

I am so thankful that she was able to meet Taters. Over the past few months since I moved down to Chautauqua I have taken tons of pictures and videos, then brought my computer up to Buffalo so that she could see them. She LOVED looking at Taters pictures and videos, and was so happy that I had a horse of my own again.

It is hard to believe that it was only a month ago that my mom packed her up into the car and made the drive out to meet her. She stayed in her wheelchair, and by golly Taters walked right up to that chair and let my grandma pet her for a long time. She fed her treats and Taters just stood there perfectly. It is so true that animals just know when they meet someone if they are good or bad. My grandma loved that day. I think I can honestly say that it was the best day that I have ever had with her, and it was the happiest that I had seen her in a very long time.

Just last weekend she was up and over at my parent's house for the Derby. She chose her horse and she and I watched videos of Taters while she told Laura about my riding and how proud she is of me and my horses. She really always has been (and always will be) my biggest fan.

Then today, after she passed, my mom told me that all week my grandma had been talking about how she wanted to make sure that I got a specific ring that belonged to her. Of course it was under one condition. She told my mother very specifically that if it ever comes down to me keeping that ring because it belonged to her, and selling it to get money to have my own horse farm, I better sell it. She has always said that she wants to do anything she can to have all my horse dreams come true.

I love you grandma, and I know you will always be cheering Taters and I on from heaven.

Helen Mae Ahrens
April 8, 1932-May 13, 2012


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