Only 2 days before Morgan’s last day on this earth it was a Tuesday; a cold but sunny December afternoon. Morgan came home from school, ate lunch and asked if I would go with her down to the ranch behind our house to enjoy a short visit with our horse TC. I said yes, as I had not taken a lunch break yet and thought this would be a good excuse to get up from my desk and stretch my legs. We grabbed a couple of carrots, drove around the corner, parked the car, went in the barn to get his brushes. We then walked over to visit with TC.
TC was in a corral with a few other horses, but that didn’t stop him from running to the fence as soon as he heard Morgan’s voice. Morgan was only 2 years old when TC was born on our ranch in Old Snowmass, CO and the connection between Morgan and TC had always been a very strong one. We went in the corral, put on his halter and walked him out of his corral. I held him while Morgan gave him a quick brush-out. TC was nuzzling her the whole time. As soon as she was done she put her arms around his neck and laid her face right up against his neck, soaking in his warmth. She closed her eyes and stayed in that position for a really long time. I said nothing – just watched. TC closed his eyes too and stood perfectly still the whole time. Finally Morgan spoke. She said, “TC always makes everything feel better. Can we come down here every day this week?” I almost started to cry – I knew she was so very exhausted and stressed out over the fear that was created by her stalker. As a mom I wanted to make it all better, but had no idea how to do that. I told Morgan, “Of course we can.”
TC has always been a “healing” horse…many animals have that gift. I have always been grateful to have this beautiful, kind, loving paint horse in our family…and please understand he is not just a “horse” he is truly part of our family. As fate would have it the next two days, Wednesday and Thursday, we were unable to take a break and go down to the ranch and then by Friday morning it was too late…Morgan was dead.
Many people will not understand what I am about to say…and many people will understand completely. The afternoon of Friday, December 2, 2011 was the worse day of my entire life. Morgan was dead, and the shock of losing her was tremendous. That same afternoon, while I was sitting on the couch crying, all of a sudden I had an extremely strong “feeling” that I should go over to the ranch because nobody had told TC. I got up and started for the front door. All of a sudden my sister-in-law asked me where I was going. When I told her she said she was not about to let me go anywhere by myself. So we both headed over to the ranch. As I was walking towards TC’s corral I noticed two horses up against the fence, but I didn’t see TC. As I got closer I saw TC in the center of the corral looking at me. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t coming over to the fence like he had his whole life. The look in his eyes was so strange. As I got closer to the corral I just blurted out, “I am so sorry TC she’s gone.” All of a sudden TC, our big gentle horse, reared up in the air – striking out with both his front hooves, as he tossed his head and screamed. I can only describe the sound that was coming from him as an ‘angry guttural moan’…his eyes were wide open, nostrils flaring, he came back down to the ground and started to turn in circles, kicking out with his back legs. The other horses in the corral gave him a wide berth – they were not about to go near him. He was acting like a wild stallion.
I finally reached the fence, and collapsed against it crying. I kept saying, “I know TC I wasn’t able to protect her,” but he would not come to the fence, he just kept running around in circles, nostrils flaring, stomping at the ground. Just like the other horses in his corral I knew he didn’t want me, or anyone else around him. He was hurt, angry, and didn’t want to accept that Morgan was gone – do you wonder how I knew what he was thinking? Anyone watching him at that very moment would have known what he was thinking and feeling just by the look in his eyes, and how he was acting…it doesn’t take a horse whisperer, or an animal communicator to understand – all it took was to watch, and hear his extreme anguish. Anguish that is not only a human feeling, but a feeling that animals possess as well.
My sister-in-law walked up behind me and gave me a hug. In-between sobs I told TC that I loved him, and I turned to walk away. With a heart that was breaking, and a mind that was trying to convince me that this was all a very horrible dream, I went back to our house. When I arrived back at the house Steve asked me why I had gone to the ranch. I didn’t really understand why I went except that I felt someone had to tell TC – he loved her too. I told Steve exactly how TC had reacted. He then said something to me that set me back on my heals…he asked, “Do you think TC saw him?” To this day I still wonder. He was in a corral just on the other side of the berm behind our house – the berm where the stalker(s) would sneak up from behind our house. The berm that had a trail worn into it during the stalking. The trail the sheriffs had seen and told us about. Could he have seen something? Maybe, but he is only a horse, and had no way to warn us.
Life is a very precious thing, and every day is precious as well. Sometimes when I look into TC’s eyes I can see that his mind gently drifts away with happy thoughts of Morgan, and I wonder if he can still see her. I am so grateful for all the wonderful memories that everyone, including TC have of her. She is still felt in the warmth of the sun, the gentle breezes as well as the sparkle in the fresh snow. Morgan is still always around us and never gone. Love can never be taken away – it remains forever.