My sister lost her horse today. Eli, her beautiful thoroughbred, was an enormous part of her life for the past eighteen years. He was the child she was never able to have, and like most only children he was the center of her universe.
As the mother of a couple of children myself and a pet lover with two dogs, I was sometimes astounded, occasionally dismayed, and often amused by the love and attention my sister showered on Eli. I love my kids and dogs wholeheartedly, but they never got the energy and unconditional adoration Eli evoked from Nancy.
She threw herself into her relationship with him with a wide open heart and let him bask in her considerable maternal love and instincts. He always came first. She anticipated his needs, was ever vigilant about his health, and always attuned to his moods. Like any proud parent she had a repertoire of adorable stories and beautiful photos to share with anyone and everyone.
She wrote a book about him. A love story. So funny, sad, honest, and brave that the reader can’t help but fall for both of them.
I haven’t been able to speak to her yet. She’s too heartbroken to talk so I wait and wonder when she’ll be able to tell me what happened.
In the meantime, I’ve spent the day thinking about Nancy and Eli. About a relationship so strong and loving that when it ends it leaves behind hundreds of joyful memories. And not a single regret.
That’s an impressive legacy.
If you want to read about Eli, click here