Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last Day - Full Tilt

When my oldest son started ice climbing my mother and friends would ask me "How in the world could you let him do something so dangerous?" My answer was something like this "I would much rather have my son die doing something he loves then to go by being hit by a drunk driver so something not of his choice." Now to some folks I know you are gasping and wondering what kind of heartless person/Mother am I but I have to say "Wouldn't we all rather go out with joy in our heart then dread and despair???" I know I sure want to go out standing straight and with giving it my all.

Keeping this in mind I must share this even as I am writing this while still crying. This afternoon while awaiting the birth of more goat babies I was sitting and watching all the little goat kids playing full force - running, jumping, hopping and just having the best time in the world. I kept saying to myself "I am the luckiest person in the world, my job has such joy."

As one of the girls had been pushing trying to get the second baby out I looked over to the pen where Mother Goose and the twins where having a ball... The two girls where jumping on and off their adopted mother's back - a game that all little furry four legged do and with wild abandonment. As my brain said "What a true blessing that the girls have Mother Goose" the unthinkable happened. The smallest one - who I called PEE elope because she always managed to pee on my slippers - jumped up onto Mother Gooses back and slid sideways. Within a blink of my eyes she crashed into the side of the metal tubing that runs along the walls. Her little neck in that instant snapped. I flew out of my chair and over the gate panel to get to her but in that second she was gone. I picked her limp body up and just started crying uncontrollably. OH MY GOD!!! I screamed. I scared the whole barn. It was as if someone had stabbed my in the heart - how could this be?? After all the trials and troubles - all the work, love and promise - OH MY GOD!!!

I took her body out of the pen with me and knew I had to get a grip. I had a mother trying to deliver her second baby... I had Mother Goose who had already lost one baby and now this!! I had the remaining little girl who was needing a mother to stick with her and care for her. I could not fall apart into a puddle... Yeah Right!!! I found myself sitting with my lost little one in the dark corner of the barn just sobbing. I again understand that I am very tired, that this is the worst week for me and my past losses. I get all that but we were having such fun one minute and then it is over..

I pulled myself together long enough to check the babies over and see the sex's and do their cords. I got my new Mom a dry bed of straw, fresh water and waited till the sack was passed and she had nursed them both. Then I went back to my corner, picked up my lost one and cried some more. Just then Ebony reminded me that it was past dinner time for them and would I please remember those who where here...

I went about getting the chores done and wrapped the little one in a blanket to carry back to the house. As I checked again on the newest kids and made sure they where nursing again I went over to Mother Goose. She gave me a look that let me know that I had to remember what I truly believe in. There was the second girl jumping, playing and having a great time with the kids in the next pen. For a moment I thought - "Shouldn't she be upset, miss her sister, sit down and ponder the great loss?" Then I wondered wouldn't she be safer with me in the house?? I could keep her safer, I would not let her do dangerous things but that would mean she could not be the goat she was born to be. I thought "I am not that kind of a parent" - "There is no guarantees in life." Just then Mother Goose licked my hand. She gave me that look again and I bent over the gate to kiss her forehead. I GOT IT!!! I UNDERSTOOD!!!

I have always said to folks - "If this was the last day of your life did you live it too it's fullest? If Not, what are you going to do differently?" I GOT IT!! It may suck at the moment but I GOT IT!!! Today, this tiny soul had managed to live 10 full days when she might not have made it thru the first. She brought such joy to my world for those 10 days which I would not have had if I was not luckily enough to save her. She got to play full tilt with her sister and be with her barn mates for the best couple of days EVER!!! That little one LIVED FULL TILT and for that I am grateful..

So as I am still a puddle of tears I know in my heart that was her best day ever and I am thankful for this day too... I hope with all my heart that when my last day comes I will have been living FULL TILT..


Brenda Courtney Larson said...

That was a very touching post, Grace.
I know exactly what you mean, though. I had a son who started getting into drugs...then he went into the military and started jumping out of airplanes. People asked me if it didn't bother me for him to be doing something so dangerous. I said I'd rather he get his highs dpoing that than doing drugs. I never have wanted to stand in the way of my children experiencing the things in life that God has planned for them. Yes, I miss them when they are living far away, but I want them to have every opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
So sorry about your goat baby. Life can be going along just great and then "WHAM" it can knock your feet right out from under you in a heartbeat. It changes everything, but you have to keep going forward.
You are an inspiration.

Jane said...

I am so so sorry for your loss. What a week for you. At least she was able to be a goat baby and knew not only the love of one mother, but two. So sorry.

larkspur funny farm said...

Brenda - thank you so much for sharing with me your story - it is with us sharing that we heal and grow. I know you have experienced these same types of highs and lows - you can't help but have this in your life when you have animals. I still count my blessings because I had hours of fun watching her get to play full tilt!!!

Jane, your so right - I am more then trilled that the sweet girl got to be with me but also got to be a REAL goat with all the fun, love and time with the others. Some of us are not ment to be here long but while they are the bring more then some who live a long calendar life. Thanks for your kind words.

PenCraft said...

what a gift that the little girl goat was your little girl goat. you worked so hard for her and she had a magnificent life.

monica said...

Grace, I am so sorry!!!(((HUGS))) My heart breaks for you and at the same time I am blessed for you for the time you had watching her play! I think whether it's kids or kids there is a part of you that wants to hide them away from anything that could harm them, but that's not living! Even now it's hard for me to let Isaiah cut wood with his small circular saw, but then I have to trust is what his dad has taught him and trust him and let him live!!!

Sheri said...

I too know how hard it is to let your kids "fly" into what is their life choices. I am sorry that your goat girl died - that hurts so much but I think in the end the blessings far out weigh the hurt of loss. I shed a few tears reading your insightful post. Ah, life's lessons come when we need them but even lightbulb moments don't dull the pain sometimes. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings, Sheri

Keeper of the Past said...

Grace, I am so sorry. No matter how we look at life and death, the raw grief and pain of saying good-by always hurts. Aren't we so blessed to be chosen as God's sheppards?

Anonymous said...

Grace, tears of this run through me, bless you, and thank you for sharing you story, Shary Lou