* * * * * * * * *
Today, it has been three months since Aaron passed away. I wanted to do something special today, so I took Aaron Jr and Ode over to see Sheila (Shayla). Sheila is Aaron's horse. Aaron got Sheila a few years ago and fulfilled his dream of owning a horse. When I first saw Sheila, I was so excited. I thought she was the most beautiful horse ever. I have always loved dark brown horses. Aaron loved Sheila so much. He would go horseback riding often and he really loved to be up in the mountains on his horse. He was amazing with all animals, but before he passed away had recently been working at a ranch with troubled youth. He was doing equine therapy and was able to work around horses and youth all day long. He loved horses and he loved helping people, so they went hand in hand. He adored his job.
This is the first time I have gone to see Sheila since Aaron passed away. It was emotional being there, but I was so happy to take Aaron Jr and Ode there. Aaron was always excited to take Aaron Jr to visit the horse and he fully planned on Aaron Jr loving horses like he did. Aaron Jr loved the time he spent with his daddy feeding the horse or even taking little rides on her. When we got there, Sheila came right over to us. I am sure she recognized Ode and even something about us even though we didn't spend as much time with her as Aaron or Ode. She let us pet her for a while. She had her winter fur on and she looked so cute. We love her so much.
After Aaron passed away, I tried to think of who should get Sheila. It had to be someone who had a place for her, someone who lived close so that Aaron Jr and I could still see her often and so that Aaron Jr could ride her when he gets older. It needed to be someone who had gone horseback riding with Aaron and Sheila. So, the only person that could have been was my sister's husband, my brother-in-law, John. John went horseback riding lots of times with Aaron. They shared a love of horses and often talked about when John would be able to purchase a horse so that he didn't have to borrow one every time he went with Aaron. When I asked John if he would be interested and able to take on a horse, he seemed very grateful. He said that he had wanted a horse for a long time, but this wasn't the way he wanted to acquire a horse. Gaining this horse this way meant that he didn't have Aaron to go horseback riding with. Aaron is the person he went with every time, so now, he has the horse, but not the friend to go riding with. It is interesting the way life works out sometimes.
I am SO grateful to John and his family for taking Sheila. She needed a home and I am SO glad that she can be with family so that Aaron Jr can ride his Daddy's horse. Thank you John and Lisa.
We also took Ode with us. I wanted to talk about Ode for a minute as well. Aaron has owned Ode since he was a little puppy. It has been about 12 years. He is an older dog and is the best dog in the world. He is the most obedient dog you will ever meet. Aaron and Ode have been the best of friends for so long. Ode would be up at the door wagging his tail when he heard Aaron's truck coming down the street. He loved him and it is heartbreaking seeing him have to live without his best friend. Aaron treated Ode like a child, he loved him like a child. When Aaron passed away, there wasn't even a question of who would take care of him. If I could keep him at my parent's house, I would love that, but I can't... so Aaron's parents have Ode. I am grateful to them for letting him live there. They love having him so much and he knows that home. That has been his home before when Aaron lived there and now it is his home again. It was the only thing that would have made any sense. We miss having Ode with us every day, but Aaron's parents only live a couple of blocks away from my parents, so we get to see Ode often. We love him and when we are around him we feel a little bit more of Aaron around us.
Three months... I am not going to express how we are doing now as opposed to the first month. Each day... each moment is different. I know that time is eventually going to help with the wounds. It will always be painful when I think of what we have lost, but time will help us to focus more on the wonderful memories we have with Aaron.
We miss Aaron so very much, but how blessed we are to have Sheila and Ode in our lives who Aaron loved so much to remind us of him. And how blessed we are to have family to help to support us and to lift us up when we need help. Between family and friends and the Savior... we can make it through anything. I will never 'get over' the loss of Aaron, but I know that I will 'get through' this trial because of the strength I receive each day from those who love me.
Aaron... we will love and miss you Always...
*Thanks to Dan for taking the photos of Aaron Jr. & Me.