It’s been a month and a half since I lost Sug. I still cry every day, though not as often as I did at first. Remember how you felt in high school or college after a bad break-up? When you curled up in your room and read romance novels and watched movies on the Lifetime channel, ate 30 pounds of chocolate and made depressing mixed tapes with songs by Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Merchant, and the Smiths? Except instead of making mixed tapes, it’s making playlists on an iPhone. That’s pretty much me right now.
August did not improve as the month progressed. My Mom was hospitalized unexpectedly and we were told she needed to have open-heart surgery. She had the surgery and is now home and recuperating, but things were scary for a while. On top of that, the day she was supposed to have the surgery we found out our lease on James, the OTTB the kids rode, was not being renewed. It was like the hits kept coming. You know the book Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events? I felt August should be renamed Amy’s Month of Craptastic Events.
What has kept me going through all of this has been the kindness of friends, family, and the wonderful people who have known Sug and I or followed us through this blog. Each card or comment on Facebook or on the blog brought a smile to my face, and a moment of peace. It probably sounds corny as heck, but reading the sympathetic words someone took time out of their day to write gave me the strength to continue doing what I needed to do to get through the day during a time when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and wail. Some friends went so far as to send flowers, and my work team sent a tree to bury her ashes under as well as a donation to Mylestone Equine Rescue, the horse rescue I often support. All of the love and support was humbling as well as healing.
This past weekend was a weekend of firsts and hopefully a harbinger of better times. Noah and I went to look at a potential barn (for when we find new equine family members) and he got to ride while we were there. It was his first ride since the lease on James ended and he rode Weed, a Haflinger with so much personality it was practically coming out of his ears. That little horse was a riot, and, in Noah’s words, clearly wanted a rider to continually be engaged in conversation with him. Noah got off that little guy with an ear to ear grin.
I also rode for the first time since the accident. A wonderfully kindhearted friend let me ride her horse, a lovely chestnut boy named Wesley. It was obvious I’d been out of the saddle a while, although Wesley very graciously forgave my mistakes and did his best to stay underneath me while I fumbled around on his back. It still felt wonderful to be riding, and to be grooming and kissing on a horse again. To my way of thinking it’s the best kind of therapy there is.
I’m so glad I had that therapeutic weekend, as Sug’s ashes arrived yesterday. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t knock the breath out of me. I didn’t want to open the big UPS package. When I finally did, I was taken aback by how large and heavy the wooden box holding the ashes was. I guess I’d thought it would be some sort of medium sized vase/urn-type thing. When I expressed my surprise, my son says, “Mom, think about it. She was a half-ton animal, a lot bigger than Great-Grandpa.” That shocked a laugh from me, bless my son’s heart. It just seems so weird to think of her as being reduced to something that could fit in that box, that she’d been transformed into what looked like ashes from a fireplace. I can’t quite wrap my head around it.
I have to figure out where I’m going to plant her tree, and where I will keep her ashes in the meantime. I’m terrified we might inadvertently have a recreation of the Meet the Parents urn scene. God help me, that would be my luck.
So it’s been a month and a half of emotional pinball, banging around, going in one direction only to be spun around in another. Things are getting easier, and I know that moving forward there will be more good moments than bad ones. Baby steps, right?
As always, thanks for reading.