It is not often that you meet a young person who exudes the energy that you know has the capacity to change the world. To see such a young person have the perspective that has taken you years and a progressive motor neuron disease to cultivate is inspiring.
I am lucky enough to be related to one. She is the horse whisperer. She is one of the most grounded teenagers I have ever met, and she has remained grounded all throughout her high school years.
Yes, of course, she has had her stereotypical teenage moments and decisions that weren’t quite thought all the way through. Quite frankly, I am happy about it. It means she is relatively normal for a Swain.
She understands what is really important about a person, an animal, and everything really. She gets it. She gets what most people never get in their lifetime, and it is as if this came standard for her.
She is one of those people you just want to be around whether you know why or not at the time. She isn’t afraid of a challenge and seems to seek them out to rise above them. It should be no surprise that her first horse to show her horse whispering skills was named Leap of Faith.
Having no children of my own (save for the dogs), my niece pretty much proves that I really am a part of the Swain family (we joke a lot that I am adopted because I am so, er, um, unique). She is the kid I could only dream to have raised.
While we have rarely lived in the same state at any given time in her life thus far, she really is a lot like me. She brings in stray dogs, cats, horses, people probably… She never missed a beat when I was wheelchair ridden for so long. She hiked to the top of their ridge and got me on a horse because I wanted to see if I could.
If she and I were in the same state, we could be a force to be reckoned with I am certain. For now, however, she will be the change she wishes to see in her corner of the world and I will be the change I wish to see in mine. She wants me there and I want her here, and one of these days our here’s and there’s will be the same!
I miss a lot of the details of her life because of the distance, but I never feel disconnected from her. I am pulling for her to affect the type of change I can only dream of at 42, and if anyone can, it is this young woman.
I am supposed to be packing and getting things ready for my dog sitters to go to WV to see her, but instead I feel the need to share that my niece rocks!
I admire her and love her for who she is and how she is with others in this life. Saturday she graduates from high school, and in the fall, she will attend my alma mater as a freshman. I am proud of her and so grateful that she is a part of my life!