Monday, August 7, 2017

Loss, and Love, and a Little Progress

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

October 14th, two years ago. I've spent the last half-hour digging for that image of the big ham crunching a runt ear of Indian corn. He loved the stuff.

He also loved the camera, and would always place himself strategically in front. He was natural model, swishing from side to side to make sure I got his best profile, which of course was all of them.

We laid his body to rest in the earth today, out by Cree under a big bank of wild sunflowers. It was hot, messy, muddy, sad work, and the guys did most of it, including sparing me some really unpleasant sights. I have Wings to thank for that; he coordinated everything, and did his best to make sure I could remember our big tough guy as his happy hammy self. His body is here now:

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.
That rock in the foreground? It's one of a pair of heart rocks I found for him. Wings picked for wild sunflower heads, and we placed them between and on the rocks. By next years, the sunflowers will have embraced him as fully as they have Cree.

His spirit, of course is already racing toward her. But he still makes time to fly back here momentarily to make sure we're okay. Early this morning, I went to say hello to the other horses and make sure they were okay. They share a double-sided trough, with a deep center "V" divided in half, and they stick their heads in under the angled side of the V and pull the hay out.

Ice always hated it. He'd eat from a wall trough, or off the ground, but that one? He'd stand on the side, stick his neck OVER the side of the trough, and pull the hay out from the top. Always. Not one of the other horses has EVER done that.

Until today. 

I walked out, and there was Miskwaki, on the side, neck craned over it. He raised his head, ears forward, nose pointed, eyes boring into mine. It was Ice, in every respect except for the red paint coloring. I turned away for a moment, turned back, in the space of a second or two, Miskwaki had returned to his usual position at the trough and was busy hauling hay out from underneath.

I know it was Ice, just for a moment. 

I have had a far better day than I ever deserved to have, because somehow, some way, my boy is letting me know that he's happy. He's also letting us know that he's still here, even though he's also on his way to Cree.

Speaking of which, my beloved Ono did something wonderful for us today at the GOS. It's nominally a fundraising diary (or perhaps more accurately, a sales-and-gift-card-raising diary). But what it really is is a tribute to Ice, to our warrior horse, with photos and stories and so much love in the comments that I've been weeping as many happy tears as sad ones all day long. Go visit it, just for that.

Speaking of sales and cards, we still need to do both, because we have so far yet to go. I'm also still not capable of much in the way of real writing, because my heart is still very much in piece, so in liey of that, here they are:
  • Wings's site, for sales;
  • Lowe's cards (the physical version) via our Amazon wishlist;
  • Lowe's e-cards (delivered via e-mail) here; and
  • Home Depot cards via the company site. The e-version using my e-mail address is great; I take the tablet to the store with me, and they scan it off the screen.
Thank you, thank you, to everyone who has sent kind words and thoughts and love for Ice, and for us, the last couple of days. It means more than I'm capable of describing right now. Our boy is a spirit horse now, but I can still see him in the stars.

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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