Saturday, March 2, 2013

They Need Me To ..... Choices

   Before morning coffee even... he's there. He's asking me to take him out. It's in the 20's out there. I don't want to. I wrap in my fuzzy blanket and take him. Not what I want to do... but he needs me to. 

   My oldest started his 19 day fast officially at sundown last night.

 He's up early eating because he can't eat after sunrise or before sundown. He's talking. He's clanking dishes. He wants to visit. I haven't had my coffee... but he needed me to


   My middle guy went off to teen retreat yesterday. He was so excited. He loves teasing me about how he will visit when he moves away... you know... on holidays... maybe once a month.... his eyes gleam with merriment. He's so fun loving. I didn't want him to go. I miss him when he's gone. He's my right hand man in everything I do on the homestead. I smiled and laughed and said he was going to have so much fun!!!! BECAUSE.... he needed me to. 

   My youngest bundle of joy and I had a chat on the way home about what it's like to see things from different perspectives. It was a tough conversation.... but.... he needed me to have it.... 

   My husband sent me a picture text a couple days ago. It was of a pic he snapped with his phone last year or the year before. It was a dumb least I felt dumb in it... but I did my best not to act dumb. I feel goofy in front of a camera most of the time. Oh well.... but a couple days ago he knew I was having a bad day. It cost him money to send me that text. He keeps a basic program on his phone. But he knew I was having a bad day and he knew... I needed him to.... 
   I said thank you and yes that made my day sooo much better.... I still felt sad. I still hurt...but... you see... he needed me to.... 


   My Moses has been alone since Jackson passed. He immediately felt the loss. He's been trying to reach out. The girls are snobs. They won't talk to him. He's alone. I go in when I feed and I stand with him. I talk with him and pet him. I look into his eyes and tell him what a wonderful boy he is. I kiss him and love him and shower him with all I've got....even while my heart is breaking and I keep looking around with tears in my eyes as I remember another face...another goat who would walk out of the barn toward me...and even when it just still hurts way too much I do it....because...right now...he needs me to...

   I want to be in Kansas...and when I'm there my heart longs to grab hold of the very land I stand on and not let go. I long. I ache. I thought I had let it go but all it takes is a trip back to let me know I haven't let it go. I'm not there. God has not opened that door. He's doing something smile and I create life here because... that's His plan right now and... He needs me to...

   Every day is full of choices. It's full of moments when we can wallow in self pity or rage with anger or run and hide with fear. Every day of our lives we have choices. Some things we just really don't want to do. Other things we long to do and we just can't. Each one of those days is full of choices for us. We must make those choices.... regardless of how we FEEL we have to do the right thing.... because we need to....


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Beloved Jackson ..... Saying Goodbye

   Today has been a tough day and it is not even eleven in the morning yet. I didn't sleep last night. Not from 11:30 on. I decided to go ahead and make the morning coffee and take the dog out shortly past seven. It was later than usual, but I was so tired. I went out with Christian and did what I always do. I looked across the yard to the goats. My heart sank as I saw my beloved Jackson lying in the goat yard. I knew instantly he was gone. I screamed and dragged Christian back inside while I called my middle son's name. He came running and we ran out to the barn yard. We both stood there grieving over our dear, dear friend. The does stood supportively while I wailed and choked on my sobs. They understand grief. They haven't experienced it before today...but they instinctively understand it. They were so somber. They knew. I could see it in their faces. 

   We dug the hole as a family, while Jackson's dearly beloved body lay under the tarp. It was the most respectful thing I could think of. The clay ground was sticky and wet. It clumped and refused to be loosened from the shovels. We worked an hour to dig that hole. We cried. We talked. We shoveled. I wailed. I choked. I dug more. I looked at that tarp and felt my heart was simply gone. Simply gone. 

   I did take a few snips of his coat. I needed to keep it so I could run my fingers through it again. I needed to put my face to it and smell the sweet scent of my best friend. It was something that made little sense, but I had to do it. 

   We carefully wrapped my beloved in the a tarp. Carefully we carried him to the graveside. After lifting him into his resting place, we picked daffodils and put them in his hair, behind the horns I so love.

 We prayed. We said words we needed to say to him. We stood there, sick, coughing, choking on sobs...and placed the dirt back over his covered body.   

   I wish I had a good way to end this. Jackson was my best friend. He truly was. It is easy for people to say they think of me every six months. That's easy. Jackson was here every day. He came to see me every day. He listened to me. He loved me. He wanted my kisses. He wanted my hugs. He wanted to be close to me. He wanted to be loved. He accepted me as I was. I accepted him as he was. He was my best friend. 

   The things he taught me were astounding. I will never be the same. I will never look at a goat the same. He was sent here by God. I know that because the woman who brought him here said God told her to. I don't understand. God knew Jackson would die here. Looking at it I say God wanted to release Jackson from his first mama gently. He had a mission for Jackson. That mission was to teach me. What a large mission packed into a short amount of time. 

   Every life has deep meaning. Every life has dignity and value. Jackson came here with a mission. He fulfilled that mission. I believe animals with great purpose make it to Heaven. It's ok if you disagree. I believe. I have the hope that's where Jackson is now. My dear beloved Jackson. How can I tell you what he means to me? How can I share my grief? I cry. I feel numb. I feel overwhelmingly broken.        

   I have trouble looking at these pictures right now. I have trouble looking into the eyes I tried so hard to save. I tried so hard. I tried. I weep as I write this. I don't know. So many doubts now... 

   I thought about what to do now. Do I quit? Jackson's death left me shaken. I doubt my ability to sort out what to do. But I learned so much. I chose to think differently. I chose to let myself cry. To let myself grieve... but not to give up. If I give up now Jackson's mission will have been in vain. I can't let that happen. Even as I sit here crying and broken I know. I know I will build a new barn. A barn just for angoras. I know I will put it in the back yard. I will make it big enough for them to stay there and be fed there and it will have heaters. It will have space and rest and light. I know I will find angoras. God will send them. I know. I know I will collect books on how to care for them and I will be the better for the drive to be perfect at this. I know. I know I will never love as I love Jackson. He has his own place. But I will love. Just as I felt the bond with the does. They know my pain. Just as Moses tried to figure out what had happened and now he stands all alone. I know. 

   I also know I will be a voice for these beautiful creatures. God gives us things and people and animals in our lives for a reason. If you are listening He will show you...even in the midst of pain. Even in the midst of wailing. This is why the sacrifice of those dear goats and sheep was such a big deal in the Bible. People saw the depth of those animals. They understood the cost of their sin...even in the life of that dear animal. How much they must of grieved!!!! 

   Why would God choose an animal to speak of important things? Why does He choose stars or rivers or trees or raindrops? I don't know. I just know He does. 

   I miss Jackson. My heart aches. I failed him. I failed. I can't fix that. I can work hard to know more and do better with the future. In his memory. To honor who he has been to me. 


    Save a place for me there Jackson. I love you my dear friend. You will never know how much. You will never know. I know I told you. I know I kissed and hugged you. I know I would have died with you last night had I seen you out there. I would have run to you. I would have run to you and the lightening would have hit me. I know it. That's why I was too sick to go out there late last night. I know it. Oh Jackson.... I miss you