Written by Nina Arbella
"WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2013
Some Things We Cannot Fix
I do not have many friends. I am told, by those who dare, how unfriendly I am. Those who do not dare, disappear and never speak to me again. I am some kind of misplaced warrior, who, alone stands before the abyss to keep a barn full of completely broken horses safe, lost ones who were cast aside by their humans long ago. I have stopped worrying about the feelings of humans as even on good days this berserker energy of mine surrounds me and sends humans running – I cannot change who I am, I finally accept that. What that has cost me, no one but myself and God knows. I am old and ugly now, I can't stand looking at myself in the mirror.
Junebug has died. For 16 years I have kept her illness at bay. At 6 years old she was morbidly obese with rolls of cellulite fat all over her body with Cushings/insulin resistance, founder in all four hooves. With the help of God Jehovah as I prayed for wisdom, I was able to maintain Junebug and keep her healthy and reasonably pain free for the rest of her life. This year I lost the battle. At 22 years old Junebug is gone.
I blamed myself, of course. As I cleaned Faith's stall, I was thinking horrible thoughts about myself, that this job is a fools job. That I have disillusioned myself about how I have any control over anything and how stupid I am to think there is anything “special” about me. Beyond my absolute obsession over the care of a bunch of animals. Who the heck do I think I am? Faith uncharacteristically kept following me around her stall as I cleaned. When I finally stopped moving she wrapped her neck around me and pulled me into her body. She knew what I was thinking and told me I was wrong. I am their person, I belong to them. I acknowledge that horses can't be owned. They choose us. I have been chosen in this small circle of Eye of the Storm, it is I who stands before the abyss. It is I who holds death at bay. Horses die. We all die. When their time is up, I let them pass, but until that moment I will help them live. I am not to blame. They come to me so shattered. Most of them would have died years ago. I love them so much, I expect nothing from them. They would all follow me through fire. I am their leader.
And so, I have never fit into the place where “normal” humans dwell. I have mentioned a time or two, it's not enough that I would take a bullet for someone, I have to be nice too? Well, though I try hard, I'll never really be “nice”, not by the standards of the world. Oh well.
Coco is very sad about Junebug. As I led her outside for the last time, they both knew. Junebug was exhausted, in terrible pain and just wanted it to be over. She kept asking me to help her get there. Coco reached out and licked her face. Over and over again, she gave her the strength to walk out the door. They each knew they were saying goodbye, they never made a sound, they just knew – and it was ok.
Coco is a little feral horse who does not want to be touched but is obviously grieving. I can only speak quietly around her now and feed her carrots to help her. She appreciates that very much. She is very special, I think Junebug passed the torch to Coco, to be the barn's caregiver to the dying members of EOTS. Something makes it possible for me to go on. When I just want to run away and never come back, when my heart is so broken I can barely breathe, I am still here.
I guess there is just no where else for me to go. These horses call me back because I belong to them. And they love me."