I had a
horrible nightmare last night... I remember trying
to squeeze my hand onto Tony's leg to wake him up
and insisting that something was in the
room--walking around the bed and buzzing like flies.
I was really scared and made him turn on the lights
and when he went downstairs for a bit, I barely
remember telling him to keep the light on... keep
the light on...
strange... empty... It's always so hard losing one
of our animals. Many of them need specialized care
and TLC in their final days during which time I grow
even MORE attached to them. I get so used to that
close interaction, hour after hour... Young
Matthew's medical regime required me to split up my
day into three hour increments. I had to time
everything out perfectly and I didn't mind doing it
one bit. But now that that strict regime isn't there
anymore, everything feels so unstructured... it
makes it that much harder to work my way through the
grief of his loss.
well-wishes have come through and so many donations.
I only wish we could have saved Young Matthew and
even though I did everything I could, I still have
these moments where I try to figure out what more I
could have done. If only we had done a fecal culture
earlier on. If only I hadn't taken him off of the
probiotics as our vet suggested--that's when his
health immediately deteriorated... even though I
started him back on them a day and a half later when
I realized his health was getting worse, it was
already too late.
We had two vets
consulting with a third on Young Matthew's care and
still it wasn't enough. How could this be? How could
we have all missed the symptoms of a bacterial
infection? How could his testosterone poisoning
blinded us from seeing that something
else--something bigger was going on behind
the scenes. I feel like I've let him down. He could
still be with me today if only I had figured the
puzzle out sooner. It's so overwhelming...
Even though the
bacteria is just normal stuff found in nature that
he succumbed to only because of his old age and
weakened immunity, we decided to start breaking open
the ice of all eight small ponds and muck them
out--fencing off those that aren't done yet. Then we
drained and refilled the Courtyard pond twice to
ensure a good rotation of stream water.
After this, we
spread fresh sand through all of the pens, cleaned
the barn, disinfected the duck and goose houses,
water buckets and food dishes--even though this is
part of our normal routine anyway and it was all
recently done... we did it all again... so Momma
duck can sleep at night knowing that everyone is
safe and sound.
I thought of
I had to look
back through the diary pages to find it. I wrote
about it on
I had called Jenn in November and told her I had a
terrible premonition that I was going to lose one of
our beloved animals. I was really worried that it
was going to be Young Jeffrey or Young Matthew, but
then when Lilly died so unexpectedly, I figured that
was what I had been sensing. Now I know I was wrong.
I hadn't been sensing Lilly's departure--it was
Young Matthew all along... I was right to be worried
and I'm so glad I spent the last few months getting
all those extra hugs and kisses every night--not
missing out on a single moment with them.