Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Love is a Wonderful Thing

(Lily, August 2012)
Yesterday I wrote a total of 4 1/2 pages in my personal journal throughout the course of the day. I thought that a lot of what I wrote would eventually be turned into a blog post, but I have decided instead to leave most of my most tender feelings and thoughts in my personal journal alone.

However, there are a few things I would love to share. Namely, how wonderful the act of loving is. As I said to Ellie yesterday, "I think that our ability to love others is one of the greatest gifts we have been given in this life."

I will not start by giving the heart-wrenching and traumatic events that my dear son, Luke went though yesterday, but instead begin with the fact that Lily, Luke's beloved goat spent much of yesterday morning and afternoon laying on our family room floor. From the first events that occurred and even still today, I have been overwhelmed with thoughts of one word and the definition of that word I have seen displayed over and over in the last 36 hours.
Love
(Luke and Lily, January 2013)

Love
Luke spent hours yesterday lovingly by Lily's side, covering her with warm blankets, feeding her water, rubbing her body and legs, changing out towels, never leaving her side.

Love
Ellie's tears as she walked into the school, concerned about the condition of a goat. Not that it is the goat Ellie has such a fondness for, but the love she felt towards her big brother was obvious.

Love
The love of a parent that was so tender and real, that I felt emulate from Mike on the phone when he burst into tears and said, "I feel so bad for Luke." Immediately I began to cry too, and Mike told me he no longer thought Lily would recover.

Love
Walking into the house minutes after that phone call and seeing Luke laying on the family room floor. Nose to nose with Lily, his arm around her head sobbing. It is a picture I declined to take with the camera, but most certainly took in my mind.

Love
Mike and I sitting nearby on the couch, crying too, each taking turns to periodically lay down next to Luke to comfort Luke as he comforted Lily.

Love
Mike quietly, and almost reverently, every few minutes checking Lily's heartbeat.

Love
The heart-wrenching cries that came from Luke when Mike, while kneeling close to Lily and Luke whispered, "She's gone now."

Love
Me sitting on the couch holding Luke close to me, both of us quietly crying while Mike lovingly, silently and reverently wrapped Lily in a purple and white bed sheet.

Love
Within minutes of Luke answering his dear friend, Paul's question of, "How is Lily?", Mike, Luke and I see Paul in the very cold (not even teen temperatures), and of course through 15+ inches of snow, silently digging a burial spot for Luke's beloved Lily. Within moments, Mike joined Paul in the field and began digging too. (Bless Luke's heart, he picked up a shovel to begin digging too, until I whispered to him that he didn't have to help.) Tears streamed down my cheeks as Luke and I stood nearby watching two men who dearly, dearly love Luke perform an act of service in his behalf.

Love
Watching Paul help Mike as he gently carried Lily,  still wrapped carefully in the sheet to her burial spot. Paul took Lily from Mike and climbed into the hole to place her. After looking at Luke for his approval, Mike and Paul silently began covering the hole in with frozen dirt.

Love
Seeing Megan break down in tears as Mike told her of Lily's death. Listening to Megan tearfully say, "I'm just so so sad for Luke.

Love
The subdued atmosphere in our home Monday evening as everyone seemed to treat each other a little more kindly and a little more gently.

Love
Mike and I taking it in turns to lay next to Luke in bed as he cried himself to sleep.

Love
Mike and I coming to a new understanding of the depths of love for our son, and our deep desire to carry his pain entirely ourselves if we could.

Love
The fact that me, a once complete non-animal lover, has a soft spot in my heart for the animals my son so dearly loves.

One of the many prayers offered yesterday said, by I think Drew, was: "Thank you we can love Lily."

I think we always will.

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