aka Misticimajokertoo, Joker and to a special few, Jokey

16'1hh Appaloosa gelding

March 1994 - October 2005
Owned and shown for 5 great years by Ellen Shaffner

Joker, My Love,

Saying goodbye to you on that beautiful day, the first day in October; it broke my heart. I tried to be strong while I whispered my last words to you, looked into your chocolate eyes for the last time, but I underestimated the pain. I felt unable to breath, and as we drove away from you for the last time, my heart began to ache; and still aches today. My only salvation is knowing that you are finally out of your pain. I think what hurt the most in the last month you were alive was seeing you in so much pain.

I tried everything to save you Joker, but in the end there was nothing we could do to fix you. All the money in the world, and all the great vets in the world couldn't have made you yourself again. I wish it had been as easy as buying a cure for you, but nothing is ever that simple.

Jokey, you gave me so much happiness and joy over the years that we spent together. The only problem with that is every time I close my eyes, the memories of you wash over me like a wave, and the grief is fresh again. But no matter how much it hurts, I'll always have the memories of you, and as the pain lessens over the months, over the years, I'll grow to appreciate them much more than I do now.

Joker, you took me through my awkward years. You gave me courage, confidence and strength at a time when I was my most shy and withdrawn. I think that over this past summer especially, you watched me shed the skin you'd been slowly helping me peel away over the past four years. It was a long process that you undertook, but I think you saw your purpose fulfilled this summer. You led me through so much, and you can rest assured that I will remain the way you taught me to be. Your death has driven home the realization that things can change quicker than anyone realizes, and if we don't take advantage of an opportunity in the moment, we may never get the chance. We talked a lot this summer about the chance you wanted me to take, and while you didn't get an opportunity to see me take my chance, I promise Joker, I will do it for you. All I ask Jokey, is for you to watch over me for a little while. I know if you think I am ready to go on without you, I must be, but just keep an eye on me, just to make sure. I'll need the extra comfort for awhile as I attempt life without you.

Joker, I hope that you are happy, wherever you are. Maybe you've found yourself a reiner boy, and are practicing what you loved to do so much near the end. Just make sure whoever is keeping you in shape for me is keeping your back up!

You know that I love you with all my heart. You are my first love, and also my first loss. One day I hope we will meet again in some place where neither of us are in pain, and we'll be able to ride together again. Until then, enjoy being the steed you now can be. I take comfort in knowing that when your brother is out in the field running, you'll be there with him, running your fastest; no limp in your gait, no pain in your feet.

Goodbye for now, my love.

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