Tjtalon - Don't give up!! I believe that where there is a will, there is a way to connect with the things you love. Have you talked to Janice yet? Maybe there are some other stables in the area that would be willing to trade some mucking for lessons (with a clear written agreement). Are there any horse clubs in your area that you could join or that could connect you with someone willing to exchange some labour for horse time?
I have had many times in my life when I couldn't have a horse so I found other means of being with horses? I spent some time volunteering for a handicapped riding association walking kids around on a lead line, volunteered at an historic park where I learned to ride sidesaddle and drive Clydesdales, and when in college, I found a horse at a stable where my brother in law worked that just needed exercising. When DH and I were first married, we rented / were caretakers of a farm with horses. We fed, did chores, mucked and rode in exchange for reduced rent. I didn't have a ton of experience during these times, but I sure learned a lot! They got me through to where I could ride more regularly and eventually have a horse of my own again.
Don't give up. There is a way to fuel your passion and you will find it!