Our situation with Epona is quite unique. Usually, when a foal is separated early from their mother it's because the mother died. In our case, mother was still alive, and well, and occupying a stall next to her baby. We didn't know how that would turn out, but it seems that Epona has been able to preserve a very strong bond with mama. She listens to her, and she does what she's told. She returns to her for safety and comfort. Cowgirl wields a mighty hand over the herd, even from a distance. They listen to her, too. No movement is made by the herd, or Epona, that Cowgirl does not approve, and Cowgirl does not want Epona near the herd without her.
Because of that, Epona hasn't developed a lot of the bad orphan behaviors. She is still very much a horse. A horse who LOVES people, yes, but a horse who still understands horse, and more importantly, you don't disrespect your mama!
We count the days to when we can put them fully back together safely, and that day will be coming soon. We have to know she won't try to nurse and Cowgirl won't develop milk for her again.
I'm happy we have gotten to this point. A month ago I wasn't sure we would.
On another note, my daughter's husband was offered an amazing job a couple of months ago. It was an offer he couldn't refuse, but it came at a high cost. The job he'd had for eleven years had given him extended paternity leave, and an opportunity to work from home for as long as he needed. The new job offered him more money, stocks, bonuses, and a chance to earn what he wanted to earn while staying put in this city. (The old job would require moving to another location for upward mobility.)
Well, in the theme of everything else this year, it became complicated quickly. The new job, at the local location, has been postponed because the company unknowingly built on tribal wetlands (I have no idea how such a large corporation could make that mistake.) Construction has been delayed. Instead of opening in October, they will be open, at the earliest, in April.
Sadly, this new set of circumstances will take him away from here at the exact time their baby is being born. He can fly back and forth, but it will be a miracle if he makes it for the birth. And, he will have to work at a location on the other side of the state until the building is complete, which may require them moving, temporarily, to the other side of the state in the meantime.
What is the theme of this year? Curveballs. Lots and lots of curveballs. I feel like a batter with 2 strikes and 3 balls, constantly swinging at curveballs, and tipping them just enough to stay in the game. Crazy times.
I was talking to my mom the other day, and each of us knows several people who have been diagnosed with cancer this year. More than usual, and younger than usual. I have a friend with stage IV lung cancer, and she is only 59. I have a friend with stage IV prostate cancer, who retired and June and found it in July. He is 62. I have a friend who told me yesterday she has breast cancer. She is 60, and her husband retired this week, too. It makes me wonder what is happening. Is it just the age I'm at, or are these difficult times resulting in more sickness?
I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do know it is important to focus on the positives, even in the hardest times--to focus on every miracle, however small it may seem. To be thankful for every day, hour, minute, because it is a gift to be alive and still swinging at the curveballs.
In a month, I will be in a hospital room watching my grandson enter into this crazy, wonderful world. I will be watching Epona move past all her struggles into maturity.
How lucky am I to be a witness to all of this?
The other theme of this year has been the power of "empty hands," not being able to control the future, but open to doing whatever it takes. To be of service even when the prospects look bleak. Sometimes, we get the outcome of our deepest heart wishes, and sometimes, we do everything humanly possible and do not.
I remember when I said I looked forward to Epona being naughty again. Well, that has arrived, and I'll leave you with a little Epona fun. The flag is my friend when it comes to that little stinker.