It had to happen sometime – but now???

Friday I drove home from two amazing weeks of serving as the Assistant Director at Joni and Friends Family Retreats.  I had the opportunity to confront and work through some challenging situations over the two weeks, yet, coming home to find a dead bird was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” – at least emotionally!

Here’s the back story. . . returning home this weekend marks the one year anniversary of the last time I came home and was met by Mom when she was feeling mostly normal, though signs of her being seriously ill were rapidly building.  Just 3 1/2 weeks later she was with Jesus.  Throughout this last year of grieving and learning a new normal, I have periodically commented that I do not know what I will do when there is a dead animal in our yard.  Mom often thought I was strong, but really she was the tough one.  Yes I admit that even at age 50 plus I would “let” (translate beg!) my 86 year old Mother be the one to remove a dead bird or mouse that was outside.  In fact just a few weeks before she got sick she helped a police office remove a dead skunk from the middle of the road!

So it happened – and of course it had to be at an anniversary mark.  As I put my car in the garage I noticed that my blueberry bush was filled with ripe berries.  I grabbed a container and began thinking of how great the blueberries would taste and different ways we could enjoy them.  As I got to the bush I saw it – a robin lying dead on the edge of the garden in front of the bush.

So I did what I always do in this situation – I retreated to the house and freaked out!  Then I tried to rally my rational strong woman self and thought, “This is ridiculous, it’s a dead bird – go get it and move on with the berries.  If Mom could do it, you can!”  So I wrapped a plastic bag around a pair of Jerry’s grabbers (another advantage to having a husband with a disability) and ventured back to the garden.  I rolled the trash can right there, so once I picked it up I could drop it in. I took a few deep breaths, and made my first attempt with the grabbers.  It was then I realized the bird was caught in the netting over the blueberry bush (yes the very net put there to discourage birds from eating my berries!).

I shuddered, cried and was overwhelmed by “I can’t do this!”.  I paced back and forth looking up and down the street to see if any neighbors were out who could help me.  There were none so I retreated back to the comfort of my home and lost it – I mean full blown sobbing that I could not deal with a dead bird – and that I knew this would happen some day – but why did it have to be now when I was already grieving Mom at this anniversary time.

After a few minutes (that felt like hours) Jerry pulled in the driveway.  Not wanting to greet him with a tearful sobbing wife, I waited till he came in the house.  Little did I know he would bring our 9 and 6 year old neighbor kids with him who were delivering our mail gathered while we were away.  I quickly turned my head away and tried to gather my composure.

After they left I broke out in tears again telling Jerry what a “wuss” I am and poured out the story.  He too went in search of a neighbor to help, to no avail.

So I did what all strong women do – I took a nap!

When I woke up my sister and her family had arrived.  My first words were asking for help from my brother-in-law.  Thankfully he and my niece Valerie had the fortitude to do what I could not do. With gratitude I went to pick the berries (and remove the remainder of the netting so it was not a death trap again).

Today I enjoy the berries, thank God for my family and fall on His mercy and grace to carry me through these next days and weeks.

3 thoughts on “It had to happen sometime – but now???

  1. Cindy

    Joan, here are many virtual ((((hugs)))) to you from across the state. Some have said that tears are the words the heart can't express. Sometimes those darn camp allergies just follow us all the way home!

    He stores up our tears in a bottle and counts each one in His book. Psalm 56:8

    Like

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