Thursday, January 31, 2008

Grief and despair

From the highest to the absolute pits--today was a crappy day, in so many ways. Handyman went to work early and we all did our usual thing. At lunchtime, I asked #2 to help me take the "kitchen" chickens (say that three times fast) out to the barn as it was warming up. But before we got going, we fell into a discussion about the Great Depression and how it happened and what caused it, etc. I gave this amazing dissertation, simplifying the entire thing into a kid-friendly example of how banks can fail. I impressed myself tremendously and was thinking how "this" was homeschooling at its finest.

Then we headed out the door with fowl in hand(s). As we stepped out, #2 said, "Mom, there's a hawk!" and I looked and sure enough one flew out of the grass right outside our pasture fence, up onto the fence. We started going faster, shouting at it and it left and she said, "It's got something Mom. It dropped it. Oh, Mom, I think it's Sara."

I said, "No, I'm sure, no." I just focused on it flying away and when I looked toward the grass, I saw her. #2 was right. It was Sara. Sara, our beautiful little Sara, beloved by everyone who met her, was not moving, at all, in the grass. I cursed and ran on and told #2 to not look and stay away. She went on to the barn with my stupid old rooster, who has no toes and can't see and pretty much has a target on his back. I would have traded him in an instant to get Sara back.

But it couldn't be done. The hawk had done his deed swiftly and without error. Sara had not suffered. We would do all that. I just can't tell you how one silly little bird can make an entire family happy. She had more personality than all the others combined. She would hop up into your lap if you were sitting or onto your back if you were bending over. She loved to be put inside your winter coat, where she would happily take a nap. She would run to us and peck wet grass off our shoes or peck our fingers, hard, if we weren't paying enough attention. Even Handyman delighted in her.

It is a tragedy for us, truly. We received Sara as an egg, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a carton, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a priority mail USPS postal mailer. We stuck her under a broody hen and 21 days later, she hatched. They lived in our garage, in a baby pool for several weeks and then moved to the flower bed in front of our house for another month. When we would drive up, they would come out of the flowers like those guys in Field of Dreams. They would putter around and talk to us all day. It was a really sad day when we finally moved them to the hen yard. We missed them terribly.

Of course, both olders thought her death was their fault, as did I. Had we done any of a multitude of things differently, perhaps we could have prevented this. All I can think and tell them is that the Lord puts us through suffering to teach us. To teach us empathy for others who suffer and to help us recognize what He suffered in giving up His very son for us. Also, we looked for ways to be thankful. We are thankful that we got to have Sara, at all. To enjoy her life for almost two years. She was a delight and we all agreed that it was better to have known her and paid this terrible price than not to have known her at all. We've learned to appreciate each moment with someone. Pretty big lessons from a little bird.

1 comment:

Renna said...

I just discovered your blog, not on the best of days it seems. My heart is heavy for your family. I do know how it's possible to become attached to a bird, and the heartache you can feel when they die. I'm so sorry for your family. Thank God, you know Him and can receive His comfort. I don't know how people who have no hope in Him can endure the pain of grief.