saying goodbye

We knew Miracle’s vet visit on Friday was unlikely to have a good outcome. It had been a week since Miracle stopped walking on his own and he was growing more lethargic each day. Despite everything we tried, nothing seemed to be working. It seemed his muscles just could not keep up with the weight of his body as he grew. He was barely able to lift his head by the end and it was hard to see him struggle. He didn't like being unable to move as much as we didn't like watching his frustration.

So we spent time saying goodbye Friday morning before Rory brought Miracle in. It was terribly sad. We bottle fed Miracle for 10 weeks. He has lived in our house for two different weeks. He knows our family well, and we loved him so much.

Just as we were saying our final goodbyes, a rain cloud moved overhead and thunder began rumbling the earth. And as we cried, the thunder rumbled. Then Rory said it was time for him to leave with Miracle and we all cried and big raindrops began to fall. Rory carried Miracle into the back of the minivan and as we stood in the garage the sky opened up, it poured down and by the time Rory was pulling out of the driveway, the sun was back out. I took a picture of the sky just so I'd remember that strange moment of feeling seen from above.
The appointment went as we had suspected. Rory had been giving Miracle antibiotics, Vitamin B-complex and a host of other shots all week long. After a thorough exam the vet said there was nothing more we could do. Whatever disease was affecting him was only going to get worse. Rory returned home with Miracle's body and we decided to bury him under the tree he would lay under, waiting for one of us to come outside the house.

I will say that these last ten weeks have been very, very special for our family. This little lamb brought us so much joy and love. We slowed our lives down for his little life, set alarms, walked to the barn on snowy, blowy nights at 2am. We do not regret a moment of caring for this lamb, even though the ending was not at all what we expected. Each day I say part of Psalm 34 to the kids as we begin homeschooling. I say, "Come my children, listen to me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies, turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it."

Many times while caring for Miracle I would think those words, "whoever of you loves life" and affirm it to myself again: we love life. Every moment spent working towards the health of this little lamb's life felt worth it. We don't regret a moment of care. I don't resent having gotten out of bed so many nights to go and feed him out in the barn. It was worth it because we love life and we loved Miracle.

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