As the summer winds down, I find myself exhausted in a good way…. So much has changed in the past few months. In the past year actually….. Last December everything came crashing down again. My mom who is my superstar was diagnosed with stage 4 primary peritoneal cancer. While no cancer is good, this one is particularly bad. She was rushed in for surgery and everything changed. At the same time, I had gone in for my regular brain scan and found out it had grown. While it is benign, it will cause me to lose my vision as it grows. My neurosurgeon advised that at this point I should get the surgery…. I remember sobbing thinking how would I do this….how could I take care of my mom and my family if I am getting BRAIN SURGERY….. When it was finalized on what my mom would have to endure the next few months, my neurosurgeon said I could wait until September (WHICH IS NOW!!!) so I could help my mom through what she needed to go through. Phoenix and Saturn were my rock, they kept me going. Out of the blue things changed for us at the rescue and we were no longer welcome. I felt like the wind got knocked out of me. I felt hurt, betrayed, blindsided, but most of all hopeless. Those horses were my saving grace, not just mine, but Mark’s and Jack’s as well. I fell apart for about 2 days. Once I stopped my pity party, I realized that I was not a victim, I had a choice to sit and wallow in my pain, or get off my butt and do something about it. So we did. I gave my faith to God and the universe and believed that something wonderful was to come. While I missed Phoenix and Saturn, I gave grace to the fact I had that time with them, and how I learned so much from them. And I focused on the good. When I did that, doors began to open…. my mom finished her chemo and began to feel stronger. I went in for another brain scan and it showed it SMALLER!!! Not by much, but it was smaller!!!! I decided not to worry about it, my faith would see me through. I would be thankful for the day I had in front of me, for a roof over my head, for a loving family, for legs that could walk, a heart that could beat, that I was ALIVE, and I had a choice to live how I wanted in that moment.
So we went to CZ Mustangs in Archer Florida and met Cat Zimmerman and her Mom. I watched and observed Cat and the magic she could do, she taught me what she could while we were there. Mark and I renewed our vows at that farm and reassured one another that we would love and live as much as we could and give back as much as we can to whomever we can. We spoke with Cat and her Mom about our desire to open our own rescue, but explained we needed to do more. To rescue is amazing, but unless the vicious cycle is changed, it will go on the way it is. Mark and I knew in our hearts that we could do something…. that our one precious life would be to fight for the vulnerable and abused, the weak and powerless. So with Cat and her Mom, we started planning to open up in NJ. But it was complicated. Where would we get land, how much would it be, could we financially do it, would my health hold up enough. And Bam, doors were opened. A place became available, we would have to lease the barn and land, but it was 7 minutes from our home and provided what we needed to get started. Financially we were taking a huge risk, we knew the non-profit world was hard and that we would need help from our community. But we have FAITH. We know we need to learn to write grant letters, that it was going to be hard, but again, we have FAITH. We will work hard and figure this out. We will reach out to people and ask questions and trust that there is a bigger plan and if we believe and work hard, it will be amazing.
At this point in time we are doing what we said we said we would. As the summer winds down, we officially have our own Horse Rescue, we can focus on learning how we can change the brutal system while helping these horses. We have become stronger on our minds and in our soul. Anything is possible. Dare to dream, defy the odds, change the laws. Tomorrow is not a promise…. but NOW is. Changing my mindset was the best thing I ever did….. So keep sharing our story, we hope it can inspire someone…. We are going to get busy this month on our research on the laws and what we can do…. I remember speaking with another rescue once about the cruel brutal system in place for live stock. They told me there was nothing I could do, that the law was the law…. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!?? We can always do SOMETHING. We can change laws, we can bring awareness… Do not let anyone tell you anything is impossible, if you can dream it, you can become it.
With that, Chirpa, our first Mustang Rescue is doing amazing!!!! We are in love and enjoying every minute!! Our grand opening is September 13th 1-3 and 6-7:30!!!! Be sure to stop by for music, mustangs, and a performance by Cat Zimmerman and her mustang that she gentled straight from the wild. We will host our first Veteran’s event in the next 2 months!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE for your support!!
PS. I meet with neurosurgeon this month, I feel amazing and he will go over my scans so we can see what the plan is. I believe my brain tumor will be gone. They say it is impossible, but nothing is impossible!!
Below is our Gofundme fundraiser!!!