A Eulogy for Ani – Finding Our Way Home

HOLDING ON

Without skin or much will to live, I went down to the barn to meet my mare. As I entered her stall and connected her blue eyes pierced my soul. Fury, fear, confusion, willingness….. hers and mine. “Spook eyes.”

We had both been left.

Barn name – anima – of course. Spirit…soul

Ani.

It was always about grass. Nurture….filling the emptiness.

Forging a way to connect physically was hazardous. Jumping the dreaded stream onto me, her unlikely savior. Bounding through ponds, bruising, barb wire….surviving Tom. I was taking, she was giving. I would learn to listen. Separation allowed pigeon fever to emerge for her and heart ache to be felt by me.

Sent away again.

Fury, fear, confusion again. Willingness took time to arrive as listening had to be learned. We try to find home. So soon …. giving and taking had switched.

EPM

Lameness

Health care team forming. Moving closer for care.

Holding hope. An occasional beach ride, a lesson, lunging, climbing the hill, Doc and I celebrate wellness.

Ani and I offer ourselves to the boy. He accepts.

He is an old soul.

It was a cruel and brief tease. Pigeon Fever again. A long planned adventure cancelled.

Gentle warrior. Red, White N Rowdee.

The connection of touch…grooming, massage, the linament, the continual rehab. Always Doc.

Always a setback… Mud, lameness, lunging, lameness, stitches, vaccination reactions, hoof problems. Always lameness.

The nicker and the hopeful expression. Waiting for me.

Respite and a calm before the storm.

There was a lifetime ride…home to the drylands for the mare. Willingness joined.

We learned together the freedom offered in expansion to an open plain.

Sacred preparation.

Lameness and a long winter of rehab. Hope for the spring was destroyed with a fall at the beach.

Pain.

Always the nicker…for me or the bute?

A frantic scramble for answers. More vets. Fury, fear, confusion….. Are we willing? Hope for the summer? Denied. For a moment?

Injections, pain, setbacks, pain. Borrowing on others hopes. Make believe.

Containment kills.

More pain. Who are we kidding…who are we hurting? We must break this cycle. It is time to go home.

I figure it out and then the mare tells me. We create a plan and a good day. Hospice again. Why?

The boy holds and directs us. “There is a big cloud….but it doesn’t rain. It is a good cloud.” KAIROS.

We are exhausted.

This time the nicker is to the vet. She knows that delivery is at hand.

The mare eats grass as long as there is consciousness.

I howl her on her way. It was always about leaving and going home.

It is finished.