Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Day, from my heart

Valentines Day at Fauna, will always be one that fills us with a great deal of emotion. It is a time when we are reminded of how fragile and how durable our hearts really are.
It is a time that we should be sure to think about the amazing loves in our lives. Even if they are not with us anymore, our hearts have been marked for life, by those we love, and by those who love us.

It is also when our hearts need to be open to love, remembering who we love and to loving unconditionally.

At Fauna we think of those we have lost, and now we think even more of those we love, because we lost someone so dear to us on this day 3 years ago. It naturally keeps us in the present, and trying to enjoy and remember so many wonderful and special memories. It brings to mind our great loves in life, special friends, and our families.

So, for us this is a very special time, we will always remember this day, and of course think of some of the most amazing individuals, we have had the privilege and honor of knowing.

On Valentines Day we celebrated the Birthday of our dear Pablo. It was a date we chose for him, since we did not know exactly when he was born, and it was just the perfect day for such a unique and special fellow. He was to be one of the first to leave us, and the most shocking loss. He was here with us for such a short time, and we always felt he deserved more time in his new life.

Then, three months later, we suffered a truly painful loss. It was our Annie, the matriarch at Fauna, best friend, mother and teacher. One of the wisest, kindest beings I have ever met. This loss marked our hearts in a deep way, and took a toll on everyone in Annie’s life, but in particular her closest friend Donna Rae, who became withdrawn and distant.

When Annie’s best friend Donna Rae died, her death was felt profoundly by her Chimpanzee family, and to witness their pain, was so very difficult. To understand and see the love shared and the bonds formed, one can see how deeply affected everyone would be. I found at this time, the pain was more for those left behind, than for Donna Rae, who my heart told me, was in a better place, with her friend Annie, and her own family from Africa. That was a comfort, knowing she would no longer suffer, or be sad.

Pablo, Annie, Donna Rae

Eleven months later, on this Day of the Heart, Valentine’s Day, and the day that will never be the same again, for any of us who knew Billy. It would be the day he left us.
He was laughing and playing, when he suddenly dropped that morning. My last image of Billy was of him laying on his back, with my brother positioned over him, his mouth on Billy’s, trying to put air back into his lungs, massaging his heart, desperately working to keep him alive, and put life back into his body. It is an image that will remain in my mind forever, and one I can barely force myself to think about, even today.
We were all there, and we were uncontrollable, we cried, we were in shock, and in so much pain. It was an unbearable blow to all of us, and to the many friends who had met Billy, and knew what an amazing and truly special Ambassador he was. His loss was so difficult to accept for so many people, his friends here at Fauna, people he had never met, and those who knew him well.

It was his heart that killed him, and our hearts that broke. We will never lose, the love we shared with him, or the love we still have for him.

Billy Jo, Jeannie, Little Man

One would think after all of that, how could we take another loss, but on January 1st,
eleven months after losing Billy, one of my very first Chimpanzee loves left us too, our beautiful Jeannie, who took a piece of my heart with her, when her heart stopped beating.
A beautiful soul, who inspired me to do what I do, and who still keeps me inspired, and always will. I will forever hold Jeannie’s heart in my heart.

With another eleven months passing, one of the most darling, loving, kind and beautiful little beings was taken when his heart could no longer continue. Little Man, our dear little Capuchin Monkey joined his family, leaving us filled with sadness, once again.

Certainly one of the most tragic loses at Fauna was the loss of Sophie, who had arrived on November 6th, 2007 from the Quebec City Zoo, with her two close friends Spock and Maya. Sophie died after suffering terribly with an enormous gastric ulcer, only 6 months after coming to Sanctuary at Fauna. In the short time we shared with Sophie, it was very clear she was extremely special, and not having more time with her, was a tragedy.


So on this Day of the Heart, not only do we remember our Chimpanzee, and Monkey family, but we can not help but think of all the wonderful and very special beings we have loved and cared for here at Fauna.

None will be forgotten, and all, will be forever, a part of our hearts.

Over the years I have met and fell in love with some very special beings, Cats, Rabbits, Pigs, Cows, Goats, Orangutans, Dogs, Parrots, Monkeys and many Chimpanzees. I will think of all of them on this special day, and remember how much I loved them, and will always love them.

At this time, I would say to all of our friends and supporters who have lost someone dear to them in the past year, or at all. Let us remember them, and open our hearts. Letting more love in, to feel all of the emotions that come with loving. This includes the pain, the emptiness, the tremendous feeling of joy and happiness when we are in love, and most of all the pleasure in giving love.

When we lose someone we love, we usually decide we will never love like that again. What a mistake that would be, because if we can feel that much pain and love that much, then we have no choice but to love again, and even more than we did before. Remembering how fragile life is, how important every moment is with someone we love, and to remember how strong the Heart really is.

That is what I will think about this Day of the Heart, and I will think of all of you with your enormous hearts, loving and strong.

Our hearts have been forever touched, and we are blessed.

Have a Special Valentines Day,
With love,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gloria for such a wonderful post.I am so happy that they all at least got to experience the Love they got at Fauna, soemthing that they had trully missed out on in their lives, but got to know before they left this earth!..Happy Valentines Day to you and all at the Fauna Foundation!

Shelly C