The View from My End of the Shovel
By Sandy Gilbert of REFUGE FARMS
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning on July 13th. I am feeding prior to church this morning and I’m puzzled because Frannie is lying down and he seems uncomfortable. I run up to him and see he’s in trouble.
We do all we possibly can. We relieve the pain. We transport him to the University. We operate. He is young. He is strong. The surgery went well. The intestines pinked right up after removing the twist. He should be fine.
He never stands up again.
Frances Andrew has decided it’s time to move on. He leaves behind an angry Ms. April who grieves for her pasture mate. And a broken heart in me. I cry as do many others who have come to know Frannie.
The kindness of strangers is never forgotten. A caring man that I didn’t even know hears of the loss and travels in to St. Paul to bring Frances home from the University. This colt is to be buried here on THE FARM. The promises must be kept. We place Frances right in front of the corral – right in the middle of everything, as he always was.
In my sadness, I call Andy and tell him of our loss. Andy calmly says, “His work was done, Sandy. He needed to go on to his next life and purpose.” Andy knew the story of Diane. He sees the big picture. Me? I was stuck in the “what if” rut. I was saddened for all the loss – Diane and now Frances.
* * * * * *
It’s been 2 years now and I still miss that clubfooted, blue-eyed wonder. But I truly marvel, now, at the journey of that first little colt.
You see Frannie came here to Refuge Farms not just to help Diane. Frances was the horse that started this whole thing on a simple statement from that wise man – “Make a difference, Sandy.” With that challenge and that rejected little horse, a new concept began - all founded on Frances Andrew.
Frannie was a wonder and we all got wrapped up in him – not the mission! Is it possible that not only was Frances here to support Diane but Frances was here to show the path – the true path – for Refuge Farms? Is it possible he left us so early so that I couldn’t just love the daylights out of him and be proud of him and be wrapped up in him instead of the mission????
I smile today as I ponder this. One single glorious horse with such a huge task. Suffer from human error. Be rejected. Help a Human Being and make a difference. Crystallize the purpose. And then move on.
Not every visit is as impactful as Diane’s visit. Not everyone finds anything special at all here. Not every horse gives to every Human Being. But when it happens, it’s true and honest and obvious and wonderful. Join us. Experience the Magic of Refuge Farms. There are 16 3/4 horses here just waiting to offer you everything that they have.
Enjoy the journey of each and every day.