Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heartbreak is part of farming

Today we say goodby to a friend,  one of the first two milking goats of our herd. Rachael was overwhelmed by a severe case of mastitis that got out of hand too quickly to catch. Hunter was at her side when she took her last breath.

Life and death is such a constant on a farm. It is something you learn to deal with as best you can.  Times like this are especially hard because milking animals are very different from other farm animals. Most others are destined for meat production, and so you tend to keep an emotional distance. Milkers, are different. it is more of a partnership between man and beast. every day, twice a day you bond with them. milking on a small scale is a relationship. each goat is special, has a personality, a "way".

There are so many good aspects to the life of farming, but there are also periods of heartbreak.  This is one of those. Hunter, our oldest, worked with her diligently during treatment. Last night he spent time building her a special bed in  her private stall, caring to all of her needs. At bedtime, both him and kaelyn included her in their prayers. This morning he was up checking on her, and refused to leave her side when we saw she had gotten even worse. He was with her at the end. As a parent it is both heartwarming and heartbreaking to walk the children through this side of life. We know in our thoughts that this is a part of life we all must face, but still it is difficult to introduce a child to death of one so close.

Life is fragile. It is a blessing, but it can end at any moment for any one of us.  Each day we wake could be our last, or our loved one's last. It is a indisputable fact we all face daily.  Recognizing this inevitable fact can either bring dread of the future, fear, darkness.... OR it can bring a special enjoyment for the moment, the appreciation for life itself and the joys we are experiencing now.  It was said by someone that how we face death determines how we face life.  This seems especially true when so close to both.

My prayer for you, as you read this and think of our 10 year old with red puffy eyes, tears flowing,  is that you find a deeper appreciation for what you have in your life that is good, enjoy it, embrace it, and thrive. Our moments are limited, lets not waste any of them.

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