Updated: Nov 6
In November of 1999, six weeks after having my first child, I was lying on my back in a London, Ont., hospital. Internal and physical injuries made me unable to move, unable to walk, and unable to wipe my own backside. After coming out of a medically induced coma, I had to come to grips with my new limitations and learn to accept my changed future. Hard as that was, the strongest, most lasting lesson I learnt was to never give up.
A car accident had taken away all that was dear to me: my ability to walk (for a time), to be with my husband, and to hold my six-week-old daughter. We had lost our apartment and our car. My husband lost his job because he took time off to take care of both our daughter and I. I had to sell my beloved horse who had been my partner and champion for several years.
As dark as those days seemed back then, I never doubted my walking again and never thought riding a horse was out of the question. It took months, actually years, before I could stand and walk properly on my own. I had my family and my life, but still, something was missing. One day, I got a phone call regarding a foal (baby horse) who was having a hard time. I was now out of the hospital and home, enduring hours of physiotherapy, including therapeutic riding. I answered to a voice saying, “there’s this Morgan colt in a bad situation. Do you want him?”
I never hesitated in my reply. In one moment, I forgot about my situation. I forgot about the trials I was going through as I tried to recover and tried to be a mom. I was able to focus on a little horse who ended up becoming a “who’s who” in the Morgan horse world. He was just what I needed, and as it turned out, I was just what he needed. We worked together and became a competitive pair, eventually ending up going to the Morgan Grand National and World Championships in 2012. The two of us, two imperfect beings supporting each other because we believed in each other.
Over these past many years, I had plenty of time to think about the choices I made and could have made: to give up, give in, or go on. I chose the latter and have never looked back. Don't think I never had dark thoughts. I spent many hours in tears and pain but I didn't let those things linger. I found meaning in the little things; the moments that really mattered. I had a life to live.
The message I want to pass on is clear: never give in, never give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll be amazed at where you can go. Even when the days seem dark, the morning will come and the sun will rise.
Heather lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, children and pets. Besides writing novels, she enjoys writing short stories, poetry and writing articles for websites and magazines. In her free time, Heather practices mounted archery with her equine partner, Northline Rainmaker. Writing was a love from an early age and continued as a favourite pastime into adulthood.