Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Majestic Diary

August 5, 2008

After sending out the newsletter yesterday, honoring Glory's memory, Caroline sent me a beautiful email:

"Kim,  Snowball had a moment of clarity when he looked right into my eyes before he went to sleep.   I had such a close connection with him for the time he was with me, but at that moment I felt closer to him than ever before.  His eyes just said so much to me and for a second, a peace came over me.  Of course I fell apart right after that, and I'll never stop missing him, but there is no doubt in my mind that they know what we're doing for them and are grateful for all our efforts.  I know Glory (and the many many others to whom you've given so much of yourself) must have felt that. At one time I thought I could never make the decision you had to make...I've since learned that sometimes it's the kindest way.  Doesn't make it easier, but you did what was best for her.  You always do. 

I wish there were words to comfort you.  All I can tell you is I know how badly it hurts.  These sweet little bundles of feathers somehow snuggle their ways to the very core of our hearts and when one of them has to leave us, there is a giant piece missing from our hearts.   I love you for all you've done for all these precious ducks.  You truly are so special and so wonderful." --Caroline

I replied:

"I hope Glory felt that way when I looked into her eyes, but she was more a duck-duck than a people-duck, so she seemed mad at me more than anything. But I know once she crossed over, she would have let that go.

It was hard tucking everyone in tonight because when Miri went into the barn, she of course was looking for Glory. I picked her up and hugged her and kissed her and she just fell into my arms. Her eyes had that look you are talking about… I could feel her thanking me for ending her friend’s pain. But it was so hard to leave her cuddled in her nest alone to come up to the house."

Isabel drew me a heart picture with a note that read: "Im sorry your heart broke I love you Mom." I just fell to pieces and squeezed her so tight I thought I could feel Glory again. I placed the paper into Glory's medical file, so I will always have it.

And then came insomnia. I kept rethinking Caroline's words and remembering Glory's eyes... even as she tried to shake off the drowsiness that was overtaking her...

Remembering her sitting on the front seat of my car on the way to the vet's and asking her to give me a sign if this was wrong. We walked into the vet office. Our timing was off. The vet had just gone into surgery. It would be a half hour wait. Was that the sign? Should we not do this? I needed to think.

We sat outside in the grass at the vet office. She did not want to be on her towel, she wanted the grass. She did not want me to touch her. She did not like the sound of the cars passing in the distance. I sat between them and her. Too soon, the vet tech came outside and said, "Would you like to do it out here?" The offer caught me off guard. I'd never heard of that. Would they do it out here? And then the thought chilled me. No. Not here. What if we were partway through and a loud truck came down the street. Or if one of the other patients came out on a leash. The last thing Glory needed to see was a dog--the last thing I wanted was for her to be startled afraid at that quiet moment. No. We went inside to a quiet room with a photo of ducks on the wall.

And I stay up at night remembering her eyes. Deep brown, guarded wells. Even when she left this world, her eyes had not let me in. I had not been freed by her forgiveness. Why... Why had that not come? It came into Miri's blue eyes when I held her in the barn that night. Forgiveness. Sorrow. Thankfulness. Why not from Glory? Had we made the wrong decision? No. I remembered arranging the chronological photos of Glory into the newsletter, and saw before me the change in her; I was certain she was letting go and about to die here. Would you like to do it out here? No. And Glory's eyes again, telling me I got it wrong. What, Glory? What did I get wrong? What was I supposed to do for you that I did not do right? Would you like to do it out here? No.

At 5:00 a.m. this morning it finally dawned on me. And I understood. She was ready to die. She just wanted to die here. She wanted to be at home. Under her favorite shade tree. By the water. Near her friends. She wasn't sad to go, she was sad to go there. Would you like to do it here? That was the sign. I missed it.

No, I'd like to do it at home. I'll pay anything if someone can come after their shift and help her to the other side while she sits under her shade tree, by the water, watching her friends. Can anyone help us... Please...

That's what she wanted. And now that I know, and now that I understand, I can ask for her forgiveness, and know that I will be forgiven. And I know that her eyes will turn soft. And I will remember.

Good-bye, sweet Glory, I will never forget you... Ever...

Glory & Miri enjoying a quiet moment together


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