Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Girl and Her Horse

Setting off for the day, I just never know. Simple errands involving check marks off my mental list. Sometimes, somewhere in there, lifelong impressions are left. Happy is the heart, which experiences this kind of person; this sort of interaction.

Yesterday, Aviana and I were bouncing from here to there. Christensen's Saddle & Feed was next up. There, we would have her precious, little head fit for a helmet, as today we start with the horses. Aviana's hair was up like this...

so I needed to take it down in order for the very nice woman to be able to first get to her head. Now you all know what lies beneath, but this unsuspecting woman had no idea. 

Poor Avi is at the mercy of her dad's antics, and has no say. One night before a bath I hear, 
"Hey hon, come here," and walked in to this...

He said, "Look, it's Aviana Ross!"

Two nights ago, right before a bath he was texting my mom and uncle this next picture.

I won't tell you his caption.

Anyway, this is more of what she looked like at the store, but with a little more volume. More on the side of what you're used to...

The woman could not believe how much hair she has. I explained that we had even cut about 5 inches off some months prior. She was amazed! She looked at my hair and then inquired about her dad's hair. I explained that I didn't know as we had adopted her from Guatemala. 

She let that simmer for a second, and then expressed her admiration as this all must be quite an undertaking. I explained that Aviana was once a well child and briefly told her what happened. She had to blink back the tears. She was really empathetic.

She soon went back to get another helmet and I walked over to look at the shoes. I found the cutest pair of cowboy boots and wanted to get them for Aviana. They were absolutely adorable. I could visualize our girl on the horse with these green and brown beauties. With them in hand, I asked the lady about them. I then ran over to Aviana, showed them to her and asked her if she liked them. I excitedly held them up to her foot. I was picturing them with her cute jeans, shirt, and on the horse. 

But then, the hot sting of reality. I got lost in the moment. It happens. Practicality pulled. Brain injury rules. The former life is lost, and like a slingshot, I'm flung back into the realm of the brain injured.

The woman was on a ladder in the back, helping me, and I had to stop her. I explained I wasn't able to get her the boots. I let the moment get the best of me. The truth is, her feet are turning inward and I wouldn't be able to get them into a cowboy boot. I smiled and apologized.

We carried on. We looked at all the other cute stuff. Socks, stickers, and stuffed animals. The woman was asking if Aviana would want this, or like that. Finally, she said she wanted to buy Aviana a little horse purse. She tore the price tag off, walked over to Aviana and lovingly talked to her and rested it on her when she realized she couldn't take it. 

I melted, for so many reasons. The kindness - once again - of some people. For how Aviana brings these people into our life. For this woman to actually see Aviana. For her to care for Aviana, and us. For our two worlds to come together, on this day. For her genuine love.

As all these thoughts were swirling my mind. I was doing my best to hold it together. She rang me up, and then I asked if I could giver her a hug. We met halfway around the counter. I thanked and told her how much I appreciated her. Guess what...yep, I started to cry. She did too.

It's people like her that help pull me along this path. 

When you have a girl like Aviana, people tend to look the other way. I know the majority care, and it's mostly out of discomfort. I never fault them, but the truth is - when people look right through her, for whatever reason, the hurt is all the same. So when people actually see her, and love her, my heart...I have no words. 

Some people are placed into your world. Yesterday was one such day; one such interaction. Every time I look at that little horse I will remember that woman, but most of all - I will remember all of the kindness and love she showed us.


  1. How beautiful. What a lovely woman. And man, Aviana has some gorgeous hair!!! I'm so sorry you couldn't get her the boots.

  2. I so love this story!

    Christensen's is the best. I went there to get my boots when I started horseback riding lessons many years ago. From the lessons, I went on to help in their horse therapy program. We worked with autistic, cerebral palsy, ADD kids and I tell you, the affects were amazing. I miss that place and seeing those kids smile. I am assuming she is starting a program, where will she be going?

    Love and miss you guys!


  3. I love Avianna - just from reading about her little fiesty personality. I have a daughter from Guatemala, and I totally understand how you feel about people loving your child. Love her hair - my daughter's is the same - only curly :)

  4. This is a beautiful story. Such a kind lady. I love Avi's little horse purse - how adorable she looks with it clutched in her arms.

  5. That's the perfect purse for Avi. What a lovely woman and what a sweet story.

  6. I want to be *that* person to someone.