This is not how I planned Christmas to be. Instead of doing last minute shopping and baking and decorating, I found myself in the family waiting room at the hospital on Monday while my husband went into surgery. It was a big and delicate operation, the last in the series that resulted from the accident he had two years ago when the tractor rolled over on him. And strangely enough, we were all looking forward to this. The doctor is an amazing man, the timing was right, and our daughter was at my side to ease my anxiety. So, even though I was facing three and a half hours of waiting, I knew that this was the best thing that could happen right now.
The day before, my husband and I had worked long into the night to get ready, since he would be out of commission for four to six weeks. One of the big jobs on our list was moving the compost away from the pile near the barn so that there would be enough room for me to muck and dump for the next few months. Our neighbor brought over his big earthmover to our driveway, and my husband drove back and forth on his new (safer) tractor to fill up the bucket. It’s a win-win arrangement since the neighbors get great compost and give us plenty of the delicious vegetables from their garden. I tucked the horses in the barn, and my husband drove back and forth across the pasture even after it got dark, the little headlight on his tractor bouncing up and down in the blackness as I watched from the kitchen window while I cooked dinner.
Very early Monday morning, I fed the horses, did the barn chores, and we all took off for the hospital. My friend, Mary Beth, would come by at noon to give the horses some hay and again later to feed them dinner and lock them in their stalls.
I was standing in the cafeteria at the hospital when my phone rang at lunchtime. It was Mary Beth, calling from our house. She said, “Don’t worry. The horses are fine. My heart is pounding, but it’s all okay now.” Of course, my heart started pounding too. She told me that the girls were eating hay in Siete’s stall when she got there. She gave them more hay and water, and as she turned to leave, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Looking across the open gate from the barn area and the corral into the pasture, she saw that the big eight -foot gate from the pasture to the driveway was wide open.
Very slowly and calmly, she walked across the pasture and just as she closed the gate, Silk came charging out of the barn and began running in big circles in the pasture. “I felt like she was saying thank you, now I don’t have to keep Siete distracted in the barn any more!” MaryBeth told me. All I could think of was my horses running down the road, into traffic while no one was around to catch them.
That’s enough of a Christmas miracle for me. My husband came through the surgery with flying colors. The horses were safe in the barn when I got home. In the morning, I couldn’t stop hugging Silk.
Best horses ever.