Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

If there is anything I've learned these last two years, it's that the world is a dangerous, sad and unpredictable place. I know that nature can be both beautiful and brutal. In spite of that knowledge, some of it on a visceral level, I was wholly unprepared for what I woke up to this morning.

I opened the door only to find that our little nest with the sweet dove family had been knocked from its hook by a predator. The geranium basket was sitting on the hedge, full of feathers, but the nest was completely EMPTY. NO babies, NO mama. Just feathers everywhere. It looked like a crime scene.

Here is the geranium basket sitting on the hedge. I suspect a cat simply walked across the railing of my porch and swatted the pot with it's fragile cargo. It made safe landing on the hedge, but was then perfectly positioned for easy attack.

I could see from the mixture of long mama feathers and short downy baby feathers, that Mama put up a huge fight to protect her babies. There were signs of struggle as the feathers covered an area three feet in diameter.

My heart just absolutely sank. I got a lump in my throat. I fought back tears. How could this have happened? Is anything safe anymore?

But the ground was covered in feathers, and it just broke my heart.
So. very. sad.

I lifted the basket with its empty nest back up on the hook. I called my husband and burst into tears, telling him the tragic story of our little doves. I called my daughters and did the same with them. I cried like it was my own child, and so I guess I was crying for that all over again too.

I cannot get used to the cruelty of death and the disappointment of life. It hurts so much. Even when it's just a family of Mourning Doves.

I had an appointment, so I donned my sunglasses to cover my red eyes and blotchy face. While I was out, my daughter, JoAnne, came and cleaned up the mess. We wanted to protect the neighborhood children from seeing it. They've been watching the unfolding story along with us.

When I returned home, I found the father bird, sitting on the ground under the nest waiting for his wife and babies to return. That undid me. It broke my heart all over again. It's too close to my own story of loss, and all I could see was my husband waiting for our son to come back.
Mourning doves mate for life, so his little grey dove of a wife isn't returning, either.

I went in the house and had a big cry/why? session with God.
My daughter, Jaime, knowing how upset I was, brought me flowers.
I've been in and out all day, checking on the daddy bird, who faithfully sat at his post.

(story continued below)


Cassandra said...

I've been reading your blog for quite a while but have never commented. This turn of events with the nest is so heartbreaking. On so many levels and for so many reasons. I am sorry for your loss, and for how evocative this loss is to other heartbreaks in your life.

Peace be with you,

Robin said...

Karen, I am so sorry.

90% of birds do not make it through their first year, but when they've become your friends, that cold reality doesn't matter. Especially when they have been such a source of hope in new life for you.

Marina said...

I am so sorry and wish I was there to give you a hug. I'm so glad that you have your wonderful daughters so close to be there for you.
Grief amazes me, just how it can just consume us when we least expect it, how we can mourn afresh all over again.
I'm so sorry for your great loss Karen and I cannot imagine the pain you must feel.
I love you and I'm holding you up in prayer.

Anna/Flowergardengirl said...

I back read and got caught up on this beautiful yet tragic story. I'm sorry for being absent. I was caught up in the farmer's market which allows me to escape the fact that my own garden is a failure. It was too hot and every animal out there has gone to drastic measures to get moisture and survive. They have eaten everything I have except the zinnias. Wish we could be like zinnias.

Everyone is asking for tomatoes cause they just didn't grow for any of us this year. About the only thing I've heard good is that peaches and apples are doing fabulously. I think our grapes are going to have a good year.

Why am I rambling on about gardens and such--well cause--to be around death is depressing. You have a right to be so mad and irritated at the daily grind and fear of death. It is so weary.

I just got mad at the cat or whatever that attacked your babies and I really shouldn't. I am mad cause you've been through enough. Enough already!!!! Gosh I want to put you in a padded room with nothing but life. Life all around with loads of comfort and joy. How does one make that happen? I'm yelling here. I'm yelling to God to please put Karen in a room with Life so she can have joy. So your whole family can have joy.

I wonder if God grieves the loss of things like this? Why did he create it so. When Jesus comes back, won't the lion lay down with the lamb? So if God intends for the lion to lay down with the lamb then it pleases God to have it that way.

So why do we have to have this be such a mess right now? The quick answer is so He can be made great but that doesn't comfort me. Another answer is so our faith can be made stronger by knowing there is eternal life. Ok, well in theory that makes me understand but does not provide comfort.

Creation science will tell you there has to be death to preserve life. God made it so all death--autumn gives way for spring, this death of your dove for the nourishment of the predator, and so many other examples that point to the eternal plan.

Still though--if I had lost a child I would not have comfort even with all this knowledge.

Sorry, I'm going to ramble a minute and hope you can find some comfort in whatever the heck I'm saying---

This awful death--as I seek the Lord's guidance on what to say that will comfort you--brings to mind my son's Easter play at his church. It was about the life of the disciples.

They faced such tragedy and dreadful horrible deaths. And I sometimes get depressed reading the Bible cause those who wrote and followed God were in constant troubles.

Each episode only made better by Jesus' return. Seems like we've been a weary people for ever. I have to make my mind not think about how scary the world is. How dysfunctional.

How come God made such a gorgeous flower, sunset, baby bird, tomato, fresh laundry, skin so soft, good hair day, etc--and then by the wickedness or by our actions/choices, or an unknown reason we plunge in to deep despair?

Those of us who are Christian live by discipline these days. I am only comforted for you and me because in my soul and heart I believe this suffering will not be eternal. It is for a season. And I hope that by being obedient and trying to quiet my fears with trust that His return is the answer--that God will wash away my tears and sustain me for a bit so I can make it until he comes back on the wings of Glory.

Until then Karen---your suffering is a consequence of living in this world which is not yet perfect. That doesn't give comfort but it does give hope.

I love you Karen.

Anna/Flowergardengirl said...
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Anna/Flowergardengirl said...
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Anna/Flowergardengirl said...

Oh my word, that published 3 times and google was telling me it didn't publish at all--so sorry.

Kay said...

I am so sorry! That is just horrible to have to witness. I am crying sitting here and I'm sure I would have completely come undone IRL. So sad!