My narrative has become dry somehow...too factual and objective. I think I need to address what has transpired barely 17 days ago. Then perhaps all the in-between will be more meaningful.....................................................
"to Billy... Pain rends my heart. This morning we say goodbye. I am not there, neither is Jess, (Gary and the girls thought it best if we go to fiddle camp) but the reality of the huge emptiness awaiting me upon our return is quite nearly more than I can bear. I cried myself to sleep last night, as did Gary and Krista. We weep, yet in our anguish, each of us knows we cannot prolong this. Each day, each pain pierced step as you try to maneuver the 2" barrier from stall to corral where you have your special pea spot, it becomes more apparent this can't go on. Soon you will fall, or not be able to get up. The corral is deeply etched with the trails your hoof leaves as you drag your left fore with each step...and there are many craters, about 5' in diameter, evidence of your battle with gravity each morning trying to get up. Oh Billy, how we have loved you these 30 years. And frankly, you have been the perfect horse in most ways. Because I couldn't ride you the past 4 years with your ring-bone steadily worsening, I think what I will miss the most is your soft nicker standing there at the corner of the corral by the back fence, breakfast, noon, evening and the deep, rich, wonderful smell of you as I bury my face in your neck fur. Mary Mels Billy. This morning we say goodbye. You will go to sleep. We will weep and we'll weep a lot. But I know it's really for us that we weep. Not for you. For you, this is a mercy. Oh God, help us to FEEL this deep inside us. Surround, encapsulate the pain with the assurance that it is LOVE that dictates our actions. Give us the fortitude to get through this day and the next and the next without this beloved horse who has accompanied us through SO MANY years. We love you Billy. You have given us more than you know and each of us will carry with us memories etched and carved with countless episodes of Billy being Billy. And thank you Martha Graves, wherever you are. Could you possibly have known what that 18 month old colt was going to give to this once so fractured little family?
Billy has been the glue that helped put us back together. 30 years! Wow, we have been so blessed. Thank you, dear God, for the gift that has never stopped giving. And today, we give him back to you." 6/24/11.
Photos taken June 14, 2011