My mama’s namesake horse.
My earliest memories, in the apartment on Washington Street in Des Moines, Iowa, include my mom’s horse collection. She’d collected wooden ones, ceramic ones, and glass ones as a girl and young teenager. They were displayed on the plate rail around the dining room and on shelves and even my dad’s desk. I was fascinated by them and occasionally, she’s get one down for me to hold.
At some point, I guess as her “collection” of children grew, she just got rid of them all.
But I always knew she was horse woman. A little bit cowgirl. A little bit Dale Evans and Roy Rogers, she grew up wearing jeans and chaps and walking around her town roping things.
Fitting then, that there is a horse named for her, Norma’s Angel.
My mama the horse whisperer
My mom devoted, in every sense of that word, her whole life to God, her husband, her children and her church family. I would like to challenge anyone to find an enemy to her. Just is not possible. She loved anyone who had an issue with her until they could no longer resist her affection and became, instead, raving fans. Her love is deep and wide.
When my dad took a church in Ohio and she was 55, I believe, she became a professional horse photographer. It was just thrilling to see her blossom, like a reward from God for all the years of her dedicated service. They lived in a rural location and her hobby of snapping pictures turned in to assignments for an Ohio horse publication, where her work was featured on the cover many times.
I have always said that both my mom and my sister can speak to the animals. And the horses especially responded to her my mom’s gentleness and respect by posing sweetly.
So a few years ago when they were pastoring in Richmond, Indiana, some members of their church who were horse breeders and racers had a foal who was not doing too well at all. The small horse was very sick and it touched my mom’s heart, of course. She drove out to their place and told them she was going to pray for their little horse. She did. She recalls the little horse nuzzling her while she’d speak gently to it and stroke its’ mane.
She prayed and prayed for that little horse and it got better. When they filed the paperwork, they called that horse, “Norma’s Angel.”
It got so strong it began racing. They sent my mom a horseshoe from its’ first 1st-place win, a treasure to her.
This past week she got to stop by and see her namesake horse and they shared some tender moments, captured by another photographer. I happened across it on Facebook this morning and it has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
Regal. Strong. Powerful. Gentle. Beautiful. The horse yes, but my little mama, too.
I love you so, mamala!