Flying Ebony

I have written this post so many times. I guess this is the best way to tell you Ebony has died:

Aislinn's horsehair bracelet made from Ebony's tail hairs

I am sorry it has taken me so long to update my blog. I think many of you understand the nature of grief, and it is best when taken one day at a time and not rushed. Being able to finally post this is really helpful.

Ebony had a middle-of-the-night colic on October 15, 2011. When we found her the morning of the 16th, she was already in deep shock. Her heart rate was doubled and her temperature was 104’F. She’d been violently rolling and injured her intestine and peritonitis had already set in. She was not a candidate for surgery. All she wanted when we saw her was to be out of pain.

Looking back, Ebony has always been a little colic-prone. I even got her medicine in the spring in case we needed it, because I've saved her from colic three other times. Sadly, this one happened in the middle of the night, when no one was there to see it.

She was euthanized at 12:15 p.m. It was a Sunday; we were all home. She was only 12 1/2 years old, and only got to live one third of her potential life span. You could say that she got to live all her life span that was given to her (if you are optimistic and it's a good day).

Scott and I and all six children were able to say good-bye. (I had four children when Ebony joined our family.) She is buried in a beautiful memorial spot, right past the back yard, in the pasture where she always stood watching the children play-- until Dreamer came to live with us in 2007.

This is her grave the day we buried her.

She will always be a part of this farm. We 'had' to buy it because she had already joined our family and we needed our dream: the acreage and the outbuildings/ barn for her. She is part of its history, like our wonderful Star dog who came up from NC with us.

Even more importantly, she is part of a place in our hearts...just like all the family member pets for all of us whose story is embedded in our own. She was the "first pony" for me and my children. She gave "first rides" to not only my own children, but also to my nephews (one is now almost 22 and the other is 5) and my great-nephew, Dawn's only grandson (age 5) to whom Ebony was and is extremely special.


Her final earthly night, Dreamer had spent the whole night standing next to Ebony in the pasture. When we moved her from her spot, he burst out of his stall and trotted around her, stallion-ish. It was the way they said hello almost five years ago, and now it was now good-bye, although I didn’t know it yet. Dreamer might have known. I put him away again, and promised she’d be alright. I never use that word ‘promise’ for this very reason! I truly believed at that point that we would be able to save her. (I did not have her vital signs yet.)

Within four hours of losing Ebony, I had a babysitter horse here for Dream. That was Molly, a Haflinger who did a wonderful job and a huge favor for us. She stayed for a week. If you could draw a horse crying, that was my Dreamport. He looked like he had aged ten years the first two weeks after Ebony died.

He is doing alright now. It took about six weeks to get my ‘new’ Dream back. He'd let me know he was ready to be ridden again. He has a new friend (Ginger). He DID find out that I kept one promise to him: he was never alone. He is still here, and so am I.

Ginger came to live with us six days after losing Ebony.
(I’ll write more about Ginger in later posts.)

With guidance, Aislinn has been able to separate out her grief over Ebony from getting to know Ginger. It has been a process.

There is one sentiment that Aislinn and I just keep sighing: “I miss Ebony.”

When you love someone, missing them will never go away. You should not expect it to! Missing does not mean lack of healing or moving forward: it means you experienced love.

We miss you, Ebony.

Aislinn drew pictures of angel-horses in our house the afternoon Ebony died.

Meanwhile, I heard a song playing in my living room that I hadn’t heard in years. It was a song for my first horse, who also died unexpectedly in 1978.

It was surreal: I just knew I was supposed to get the message that no matter what, God was in control, and it would be okay. Again. Someday. Ebony was in heaven with my other horses. In fact, one of the last things I told her was to go and find them. Aislinn drew me a beautiful picture of all my horses (3 deceased) in heaven, and she drew Ebony's dam there, too. And she drew my angel sister flying above them. In the middle of the picture is a big cross with a dove perched on it.

The beautiful horsehair bracelet pictured above was made for Aislinn by
They are so wonderful there, that they made me a free gift from Ebony's hairs, too!

If you are going to consider doing this, know that you need at least 14-18 inches of tail hair only. I was so fortunate to have had enough length to do this. Aislinn was completely surprised, and it helped her immeasurably.

I was completely surprised by the free gift, which came at a very good (because it is a very hard) time of the year for me; it even lifted my spirits in relation to humanity and kindness in time for Christmas. (I took a real hit in this area when Dawn died.) So you never know what one little act of random kindness will do!

Here are some of the Angel Horses Aislinn has been drawing:

These were put on Thank You notes to the owner of and her braider.

So, here I am—it’s 2012. I am very, very thankful to have you all here to share life with, especially the horses. Thank you so much for being here and listening to all of this with me. 

May we all see blessings and rewards in 2012! No matter what, let’s remember to always stop our lives long enough to tell everyone how much we really love them.
I looks forward to posting good, happy things next.
God Bless!
- Allison

Dreamport is a direct descendant.

This is the other side of the silver hand-engraved  charm on Aislinn's bracelet: 

Ebony, we can't wait to see you again!

I can see you up there, running through the pastures...

(She's been our girl since the day of her birth.)

Ebony's story is here


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I'm so sorry...

I hope that the wonderful memories you have of Ebony, help your family deal with her loss as time passes. I think Ginger will help. :)

Best wishes for a happy, healthy new year.

juliette said...

I am so sorry. I am glad you have Ebony's photos and memories and tail hair gifts. Love and hugs to you and Aislinn and Dream and to the new Ginger who has very big little hooves to fill. You have been in my thoughts and prayers these months.

Ebony's baby photos are too beautiful. What a treasure to have them.

lmel said...

So sorry to read about your loss. Sounds like your "babysitter" really helped Dreamer and you. Glad you've got Ginger to fill the void.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm very sorry that you lost your sweet Ebony way too early. The memory bracelet is beautiful as are the pictures Aislinn has drawn. I hope they help you find peace and comfort.

It is sweet that Molly could be there for Dreamer. I look forward to reading about Ginger.