I know, I know. I’m late with my musing. Unfortunately, I have an awful lot to think about these past few days.
As many of you may have heard, my dear Zebediah, my baby zebra, passed away most unexpectedly on Sunday morning. THAT was not a phone call I was not anticipating. The fact that it was so “unexpected” makes it even harder to accept.
But Zebby was more than “just an animal” to me. He was really something special…a gift from God that touched so many lives.
Little children would light up like Christmas trees when they saw little Zebby. Many of them had never seen a zebra before…not in person, anyway. For all of them, hearing him make his silly firehouse sounding “whoop whoop” call was a once in a lifetime event. And…if they were lucky enough that Zeb felt especially friendly that day and forced his nose over the fence…well, that is something to brag about at school on Monday!
My daughter and I would go down to the barn and sit in his paddock, not caring that we often sat in the dirt, taking silly photos of him asleep in the hay or scratching his striped butt against a railing. He liked to chase the goats and he always panicked if Snowball, his little white pony friend, was out of sight for longer than a few seconds.
I loved his noise. So rare and unique. Whoop! Whoop! Not a neigh. Not a bray. A whooping sound. I can still hear it in my memory. That’s the only place I’ll hear it now, I guess.
The times when I was about to hug him and bury my nose into his fluffy striped neck…that was magical. He SMELLED like Africa…like wild grasses and fresh air. That’s something I will never forget.
But now…it’s over. He lives on in my memory and will never go away, I’m sure. Marc and I decided no more zebras. That decision was hard for both of us. Since we don’t have two-legged children, we count all of our fuzzies are our four-legged children. Zebby, however, was the favored child by far. We recognize how special he was and that there is no way to replace the hole in our hearts.
Still, I am reminded of my own personal mantra: There is a reason for everything. And while I would love to know what the reason is, sometimes we just never know. Perhaps extra care will be given to a beloved animal somewhere that, otherwise, might not have occurred. Maybe Zebby touched enough lives and his unexpected passing serves as a not-so-gentle reminder to us all that life is precious…expect the unexpected.
We cannot count on anything…for God has His own plan…and it is one that we dare not question (even when we would surely like an explanation).
I know that I sure appreciated the love and support from my daughter and husband, Jeremiah (Zeb’s trainer and namesake), as well as all of my Facebook family who have reached out to me. I heard from a lot of people and even got a special photo from my uncle of a brand new baby giraffe…born just the other day at his local zoo where he volunteers.
Life goes on. So will I…until the day I move along. In the meantime, no matter how hard it is, I will have to remember that God’s plan is not always my own. I’ll do my best to accept it and appreciate each day that I have…even lousy rainy ones like today (blah). I encourage you to do the same, too.
I also take courage in knowing that baby Zeb is up at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for Snowball and waiting for me. He’s definitely in good company with my herd of fuzzies that have passed…horses, ponies, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, hamster, birds, ferrets, turtles, and far too many hermit crabs.
Blessings to you all! And hug your family, friends, and fuzzies just a little bit harder…not just today…but every day.