Saturday, May 2, 2009

It is called alpacas and school children....isn't it?

I rarely share anything about the school children, mainly because it's been business as usual at school (which is a good thing), but this is one of those times when the special nature of children has to be recognized. I lost my grandmother on Tuesday of this week. She passed away after a long battle with emphysema. She was 87. My grandmother was quite a formidable woman. She kept everyone going (albeit with force) after my mom died. She has been fighting emphysema for over a decade, and it never slowed her down until the last couple of years. Her doctor said she should have been dead years ago. I always knew she wouldn't go until she was good and ready. This week she decided she was ready.

Growing up without my mom, who we lost to cancer when I was three, my grandmother Louise was the only real female figure in my life until I got married and gained a mother-in-law. (My in-laws are very special people. They are the parents I never had.) We have known for a while that the end was near for my grandmother. Still, it's a shock to know that she is really gone and not coming back.

I found out Wednesday morning during my planning period at work. I received a message on my cell phone from my brother Mike. Oddly enough, I was on the phone with my brother Chris' wife when Mike called. I was in a fog for most of the day. I wanted to go be with my family, but there was no way I could leave work, and in the end that was the best thing. The kids didn't know anything was going on, but their special energy and happiness influenced me to live in the moment I was in, which was teaching these children to make music. Yes, my grandmother was gone, but at that moment I was surrounded by the positive energy of our students, and as Cesar Millan says, you should always live in the moment. The moments to grieve would come later. Right now I was doing something important and positive with outstanding young people. Cesar Millan is also correct about the energy of the pack affecting an unbalanced pack member. He always uses his balanced pack of dogs to help rehabilitate dogs who have become unbalanced. At my school, wolves are our mascot, and we always refer to the wolf pack analogy. In this instance, the positive energy of our 'pack' influenced me to come back into balance for a day. It made it much easier to get through Wednesday, and half of Thursday, before the moment came to grieve.

The wake was Thursday night, and the funeral was on Friday. Both were lovely...and sad. After the funeral, I went to visit Devi. Animals are helpful too, in times like this. You have to have control of your emotions when you are around animals. They pick up on everything, and will react to negative energy. If I allowed myself to be negative, the alpacas would have avoided me, but I was able to stay in the moment once again, and Devi showed her usual curiosity about me as did her herd mates. Mother nature leads us toward balance too. Humans need to recognize that more. We are the only species that follows unbalanced leaders.

On the happy side of things, I'm getting another alpaca next Saturday. She's a fiber female/non-breeder that is currently at a farm in Massachusetts. I decided that I want to focus the bulk of my earnings on saving for a property, so I'm going to wait two years until I purchase another breeder. It's difficult to make a profit as a boarder, so I really need my own farm. However, I also don't want to be the only alpaca owner in America that has only one alpaca, and I want to have an animal that is solely my pet. I can get attached to her without having to sell her, and I will have an abundance of lovely white fiber from her. I really wanted a white so I could dye the fiber before I spin in up. I also wanted to find a girl with a nice personality, and it seems with this new girl I have found what I wanted. This way, when I finally get a property and am ready to move my animals, Devi won't have to adjust to a new home and a new herd at the same time. The animals will be able to move together. In fact, I can take the new girl, Evita is her name, to shows with Devi as a companion too. Evita is five years old and already halter trained, so she can help Devi with that too. Evita has been the aunty alpaca for the new cria at her farm, so she can serve in that role too. Devi is only seven months old, after all, and the two alpacas she is with are seven months old and a yearling, so they can benefit from an 'aunty' as well. Actually the yearling girl that belongs to the farm where I board has been missing her mom quite a bit. Maybe Evita will alleviate some of that for her too. Who knows? You can't actually predict how the animals' relationships will turn out, but you can hope for the best.

I'm picking up my new girl next Saturday, and get to drive her home myself this time. This should prove to be a unique experience. I'm looking forward to it. You can expect a post about that experience for sure! I also learned to navajo-ply this week, and will be sharing about that as well.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are turning into a farmer!

    Steph, I'm sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I went through this a few years ago, and it sucks.

    Also, your in-laws are amazing people! I miss them a bunch.