That there is no end to the compassion, the understanding and the support that the board members here offer others at their time of need. I have seen it time and time again, and have had to draw on it myself on occassion. For me, this is how I feel right now...
It is so hard to let go of them when you love them so. You risk so much of your heart when you start with a feral colony and begin to supply them with food first and love later. That first small victory of them trusting you, be it a head bump, a look, a short pass across your hand, fills you with such wonder and gratitude. You take every day as it comes, knowing that you both are working against chance taking a gamble. Wondering if the next move you make will be well received by this distrustful cat, or put you back into square one of training. Wondering if the charge in front of you was able to nurse mom adequately without fail, had gotten enough antibodies worrying about every sneeze, measuring food doling out love.
Then one day, you have one of your cherished ones that is sick and not doing well. Vet visits are beyond stressful for both of you. You do everything in your power to help them, you sing to them, cuddle them if they will accept it and you love them. Sometimes they pull through, and sometimes you lose them. You come here and share your journey and your pain and others reach out in understanding and compassion and you somehow find the strength to get through another hour and face what lies ahead.
But the process, the lessons, the love, the wisdom they give you is unlike any teacher's lessonbook. They teach you about pride, about patience, about adjustments. They make you laugh, sometimes they make you grind your teeth and they show you a love that few are privy to.
The gamble with working with ferals is that sometimes, they are just living on borrowed time. But while they are here, they have much to teach everyone around them.
I hope you never get to the place Yola where you need the support this board can offer. But I do know, when the time comes, the support will be there for you.
My heart goes to all of you who have lost a loved one recently. It isn't easy to deal with. Colby said it best to me on the phone on Sunday, in their passing, we make their pain ours. They are better off, in a better place and it is up to us to understand and accept that. Thanks for reminding me of that Colby. In my sorrow, I had forgotten.