Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stranger, Friend...

I just watched a YouTube video of a man in, I believe, Istanbul standing on a busy street blindfolded, arms outstretched, and behind a sign that read (paraphrasing), "I trust you, do you trust me? Hug me."  I wanted to jump through the screen and hug that man.  In the beginning of the video, people were cautious, only one or two dared to do it, but by the end of the clip people were lining up for a chance to show some love to this stranger.  They were getting nothing more from it.

It reminded me of the Christmas Truce of 1914, when during "The Great War" (WWI) soldiers from both sides put down their weapons, ventured into No Man's Land and spent Christmas playing games with one another, exchanging small tokens and shared stories.  They sung together and hugged one another before going back into the trenches to get back to the dirty job of war.  The fact that they were alleged enemies didn't matter for that short period of time.  Their nationalities didn't matter, their religious beliefs didn't dissuade them, their jobs and social classes made no difference; they were simply men.  Sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, and friends.  

Isn't that so much easier?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

365 Busted

You want me to build you a birdhouse?  Okay!  It may not be level, and it may look like a crooked little squatter's den but I'll do it.  How about knotting a fleece blanket?  Sure!  They may not be exactly even squares, but it will keep you warm.  Let's go bake a pie!  That crust may burn a little, but it will be edible.  Why not?  Let's do it.

I will do a hundred things I am not so great at, and have no personal attachment or commitment to at the drop of a hat.  If I goof them up, no worries.  It won't bother me a bit.  But something that I love and enjoy doing?  If I can't make it sound the way I want it to, look the way I want it to, or read the way I want it to, I avoid it like the plague.  I hate that part of my personality.

I revamped writing here a little bit ago.  I committed to 365 days of writing; preferably in a row.  I have not been quite keeping up my end of that commitment however, and I'm frustrated.  I will write in my head at night and love the ideas.  When I start to type the next day, the flash of inspiration from the night before, or even hours before in the shower or while brushing my teeth, just doesn't land.  It doesn't sound right.  It doesn't have that feeling I felt when I was writing in my head.  It just... doesn't.  So, I abandon it.  And then I get annoyed with myself.

So it's time to get off of my self imagined high horse and just do it.  Get thoughts typed even if they do not match what I had originally conjured.  Let them take their own twists and turns, even if sometimes, I am not sure where they will end.  Like today.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Want A Do Over

This week has been one for the record books.  On Wednesday we had a gorgeous day here in PA.  The weather was mild and warm for the first time in a while.  On the way home from our homeschool co-op we had the windows rolled down and took our time getting home.  It was wonderful.

Later that afternoon, I discovered that our wee gerbil Sally finally lost her battle.  C'sa was busy jumping on the trampoline and playing outside, so I brought Sally into my room, found a box for her and decided that the knowledge of her death could wait in the kids' world.

Breaking the news to C'sa was hard.  I knew she would take it badly, and she did.  She loves deep, so loss cuts deep.  For the next couple of days she would break into intermittent sobs.  It broke my heart to have to try and soothe those wounds.

Friday afternoon her wounds became tangible.  While jumping on the trampoline with my oldest son, they accidentally collided and fell into a heap on the trampoline's canvas.  Her glasses broke, and so did her clavicle. She was in immense pain.  

We took her to an urgent care facility and had x-rays done. They trussed her up in a harness and a sling, and sent her home with a prescription for pain and instructions to follow up in a week with an orthopedist.  After 24 hours hours post break, I doubt she can last a week.  She is still in serious pain and can barely move.  Prayers are coveted, an immediate Monday morning appointment craved.

We will grow from this week, we will heal; but I wish it was one we could just try again, with much different results.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Well, I'll Be...

Yesterday it appeared that one of our little gerbils was ready for that Big Gerbil Wheel in the sky.  I promised my sobbing daughter on Sunday that I would make an appointment for her with the vet if she made it through the night on Sunday.  She did, but I could not get an appointment until today.  I knew I wasn't going to have to keep that appointment.  I prepared my girls for the inevitable last night.  We have experienced a gerbil death before, and the signs were all there.  Except she decided to hang out another night last night.

I got up early to go check on her, fully anticipating that I would need to remove her body so the girls would not wake up to that scene.  I snuck into their room with my flashlight and checked the tank.  Not a gerbil in sight.  Our sick little one, Sally, had been lethargically living her last days on a bed of cotton we had put down for her, and hadn't been budging, yet now she was nowhere.  I couldn't even find her sister, Lucy.  Panicking a little and imagining a lifeless Sally buried somewhere amongst the pine shavings and paper pulp, I shined my flashlight into the wooden house that dominates the glass tank.  Two very annoyed and tired eyes reflected the light back at me.  I think I jumped three feet into the air.  Sally, looking at me a tad perplexed as to why I was shining a light in her eyes, turned away and rested her head back down.  I breathed a little sigh of relief that she had lasted the night.

Later this morning, she had taken refuge once again on her cotton palette and was looking worse.  Her labored breathing had slowed way down to shallow gulps.  I was ready to call the vet and cancel the one o'clock afternoon appointment I was pretty confident she would not live to see.

Zoom ahead eight hours, and I am wrestling my wee friend to try and stick a syringe full of antibiotics between her teeth.  She is not happy with me, whatsoever.  The vet is hoping that she simply has an infection.  I never imagined I would actually have to keep a vet appointment for a gerbil.  In the last few hours, the sweet docile Sally girl has bitten one vet and one vet assistant necessitating a bandage for both, ran around her tank inspecting it for change while she had been gone at the evil aforementioned vet's office, completely demolished, by chewing her way through, the cardboard of a toilet paper roll, and dug so furiously, had she been in actual dirt, she may have made it to China.  She is now asleep, and I am exhausted.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring for our girl, but I can bet it won't be what I plan for. In either direction.

Monday, March 2, 2015

For His Eye Is On the Sparrow...

Three years ago my girls got three little rodent sisters as pets.  Although not my first pick for a pet, gerbils seemed like a good salve to put on my eldest daugher Xena's heart after our cat died.  We didn't want another cat, so after four or five years of her mourning him and begging for another feline, we decided to put her focus on something else with fur.  Welcome our little desert rodents.

I must admit I fell in love with them right away.  I could often be caught staring at the gerbil tank, just watching them play, dig tunnels, and scurry around their home.  I even would take them out to croon at them in that silly voice reserved for babies and puppies.  Last summer we had to deal with one of the sweethearts getting sick and dying.  It was Xena's gerbil that died and it was a tough time for her.  She was heartsick.  I asked her if she would take over the care of "my" gerbil Lucy.  She gladly accepted, and life kept moving on, in that way it tends to do.  Life, is once again gearing up to give us another blow.

In gerbil years, three is considered elderly.  C'sa's little gerbil friend Sally is fighting the good fight, but I fear she is going to lose that fight very soon, if not tonight.  I have spent the last day and a half stalking their tank, checking her breathing, hand feeding and watering her, and just stopping to gaze.  I have tried to brace my tender hearted girl for the stark reality of what is coming, but this evening it became too much.  My baby girl was in a puddle of tears at the simple thought of her gerbil dying.  

This is what love looks like.

I reminded her that the Lord created every living thing and cares for all of them.  His care extends to the lilies of the valley, the sparrows, and the little desert rodents.  As much as she loves Sally, Christ loves C'sa a gazillion times more.  So much that He sacrificed His life for hers.  A God that big wouldn't forget His smallest creatures.

I hope I reassured my girls that their little friends were loved by the One who created them.  They can trust Him to see to every detail, even the furry ones...

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me