19 "Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? 20 Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? 21 He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. 22 He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. 23 The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. 24 In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. 25 At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, 'Aha!' He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
There are times in life when things just feel "off". This time of year is always that way for me. Jackson would be 9 years old this month on July 29th. I have mentioned before that the time leading up to an anniversary is as bad for me, if not worse than the actual day itself. Somehow birthdays seem to make me feel the most bitter. I think its because I feel like people have forgotten my cowboy. Recently one of his buddies had a birthday party and it looked like so much fun. They had one of those huge blow up water slides and a bunch of boys running around, a bunch of boys and not one of them was my boy. Later one of the parents whose child was there went on and on about how much fun it was. All the while I had to just avoid eye contact. I know the parent meant no harm, but it was evident that they were not considering that Jackson was not there.
Face book is also not a good place for me to be when all the parents and friends start wishing all the kids Jackson's age "Happy birthday!" and "I can't believe he/she is 9!". While these people are celebrating their child our hearts are breaking. Let me be clear in that I am past the point of taking these things personal, I use to feel like the child's party or birthday was being thrown in my face in a sense. Now it just makes me feel.....I don't know, jealous and sad I suppose. I want to be on face book saying "Cowboy Jackson is 9 !" instead I'll probably just post yet another pic of his last birthday, Cowboy Jackson is forever 5 and that makes me ill.
Many of you may know that my sweet Jenna Claire won 1st place in a barrel race this weekend (GO JC !! ). It has been very hard for me to allow her to even ride horses, and even harder to watch her fall in love with her pony and SEE the joy that she gets from knowing she had a good run. Its not fair for me to not want her to ride, she wants to ride and she is not Jackson. Its not fair to punish her because I live in fear that she will get hurt. I never have really given her a reason that I don't want her to ride and she has never really asked. I go to the barrel races and support her, but it's hard and I'm sure it's evident. That arena was where my cowboy took his last breath and that makes me literally sick, sick to the point that I need to grab my kids and run. Run away from any part of a life that my son loved, because even though he loved being a cowboy, its part of the reason he is not here.
Every time Jenna Claire runs her pony, I have to go to the horse trailer and hold her when it's over. At times all I can think is "this is so dumb, why are we letting her do this when it causes me such anxiety???" the answer is because she loves it.
On the way home from her big win this weekend, the baby fell asleep and Jenna Claire and I were just talking about her pony. Here is the conversation in a nutshell.
JC: " mom why are so scared when I ride?"
Me: "because I know bad things really do happen and I'm afraid you will get hurt."
JC: "well, you do know Jackson still rides right? he never stopped. "
Me: "I suppose he does ride in heaven, is that what you mean?"
JC: "I don't think he rides, I KNOW he does."
That was that. She was 100% sure and I didn't ask her how, she already stressed that she KNOWS he continues to ride horses. I believe after that talk that she feels close to her brother when she rides, she has often said it makes her feel like she is flying. She always wants to talk about Jackson after she rides. It's a sweet reminder and for her it keeps her brother alive in her heart. I wonder again about that book I mentioned last week, I wonder if Jackson does watch her ride. When I think about it, I'm almost positive he does. I don't think she would get near the joy out of it if she didn't feel him.
I choose to believe that somehow Jenna really does KNOW that Jackson still rides. After all if you look up how many times horses are mentioned in the bible, you will SEE how the Lord obviously has the most almighty horses in heaven. What a beautiful sight when we see the Lord coming on his white horse. I'm betting Jackson will be on a horse as well, since its obvious to my 6 year daughter that old that her brother never stopped riding.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.