Sunday, January 24, 2010
A Day of Goodbyes
Today marked the day of departure for James' best friend Madiyar and his Mom Dee. They had come to visit for the w/e, arriving on Friday afternoon from Mass. James and Madiyar were friends together in their orphanage in Kazakhstan, and this reunion meant more to them than can easily be put into words. They had a wonderful time, and Dee and I got some much-needed free therapy in talking to each other about the ups and downs of surviving the adoption of older kids. It was validating and reassuring to feel that someone else was going through almost the same issues.
Shortly after they left for their drive back to the airport, I headed to the barn to secure the hay delivery that had come yesterday afternoon. But I stopped short when I got there and saw my beloved friend Jasper lying dead on the barn floor. Although there was no obvious cause of death, he was, after all, 25 years old. And after Flurry died, he lost something. The twinkle in his eye was no longer there.
But he had a quick and painless end to his long life. He was out in the field yesterday grazing in the sunshine and getting hugs and kisses from his family, and today he was gone. No long decline with multiple health problems, just living as a horse should up to the end.
I'd had him for 17 years and through that time he's gone from a fractious young thing that would take me on gallops with the wind blowing through our hair, to a more sedate older gentleman that had become quiet and trustworthy.
We've had a sad year surviving the loss of so many horses. One year ago, our sweet Midnight, 30 years old, had to be put down due to health issues. Then over the summer we found a new home for our sweet pony Sky, aged 19, who could no longer live on grassy fields because of foundering. Not more than a few months later, we had to put down old Flurry, aged 30+, who had a heart murmur, was blind, had horrible teeth making it difficult for her to get adequate nutrition, and was lame in two legs.
And now, finally, my friend Jasper, who went on his own terms.
Goodbye, Jasper. I'll remember you always .....