October 21, 2021

Peter buried her today. In the earth, while he dug the grave, he found a cedar sapling and a large rock. The pine sapling is now replanted over her body, and the rock marks the grave.

A writer friend—Vance Shepperson—wrote this poem for Re, and he kindly allowed me to share it with you all now.

Eulogy for a Mother

Re and me, we came to be.

A wink of time begat a we.

Ewe gave and gave—

Holding on and letting go.

My inside mom began to show

Her shadow lit by your warm glow.

This part of me I better know.

Now its time for you to go.


October 21, 2021

It was a rough work day. I am growing weary of the impact today’s world is having on so many healthcare settings. Stress levels are through the roof. Tempers are short. More often than not, people seem to step on their own, unwittingly letting out frustration on those who are on the same team as they are-or who should be at least. Am I naive to wonder why people can’t just be kinder to one another? Perhaps…

But I could not help but feel that the world made a bit more sense to me when I made it home tonight. Our homestead is a somber one right now, as Re declines visibly, by the hour. Earlier today she eagerly licked at the salt block Peter held to her mouth; but tonight, she could no longer lift her head to try. We doubt she will last the night.

Before I went in the house tonight, I sat beside her in the shed, crouching in my scrubs  by her side. I rested my hand on her head and began to sing. 

All creatures of our god and king,

Lift up your voice and let us sing.

Hallelujah, hallelujah

I don’t know why I sang that song to her. I don’t know why it helps to lift my voice and sing. But that is what I did. And that’s what helped to soothe the hurt. And it is good to be in this home now with my Farmer Pete, feeling each other’s sadness and sitting in it together.

Re, our Doe

October 19, 2021

We will lose her soon. Our matriarch of a goat. Mother of many … triplets then quadruplets since we’ve owned her, and no clue how many before we owned her. Came to us lame, limping on a gimp of a hoof that farmer Pete has diligently cared for over the past few years. She has markedly improved in mobility since we added her to the homestead. And, for whatever reason, it seems that nature seems for to call her home now. She’s on “hospice” here now, with Peter sitting with her, feeding her bits as she can manage, moving her from sun to shelter…and waiting. Is is wrong to mourn the pending loss of livestock? We make no excuse for having a homestead of livestock rather than pets…but, all the same, we are good to our animals and they, in turn, are good to us. Re has provided us with good milk. She has warmed our hearts with her smile. She has brought the joy of “kids” to our hearts, and to all who visit our homestead. We will miss her. And I am grateful for the tears that come now …tears for both her and for the hole my GramBea left in my heart. Thanks be to God for all creatures great and small.


October 2, 2021

I haven’t had many words lately. Could blame it on a perfect storm of life … stressful days of work combined with medically hindered hubby-hand. And this. But the fact of it is likely that my words have simply been held back by the too-muchness of this grief. If I’ve learned anything in my days-short-of-42 years, it’s that death is a horrible, horrible reality. It doesn’t matter how expected or unexpected, how “natural” or traumatic it is. We, as human beings, are simply bad at it. My way of being “bad” at it is, oftentimes, an attempt to put up my walls and remove myself, in some form or fashion. Knowing this about myself, I am grateful for the physical intensity of my pain this time around. Today my eyes were, for the most part, dry (barring a few that my brother brought with his eloquent tribute to her). I am quite sure that tears will continue, and that the days, weeks, months, years ahead will be hard. But tonight I am grateful to be resting from the day. I am grateful for a full day of family. I am grateful for the children that ran freely over the hills while the burial ceremony proceeded. And I am grateful that these same young ones gave me the comfort of smiling chats with them over mini acorns and giant pine cones, over grippy shoes versus slippery sandals, over whether one might be able to comfortably lie down for a nap on a concrete slab intended as a prop for a casket. And I couldn’t help but smile and miss the days of running freely, barefoot and carefree, myself. But then we closed the ceremony with a rousing version of “Oh happy day.” I said along, and I danced. And I realized that this moment, this present, with this family of mine, is the only place I can imagine being. Until then. 

Yeah if you go there (Oh happy day)

Yeah, before I do, yeah (Oh happy day)

Just tell my friends I’m there (Oh happy day)

Then I’m coming too, yeah (Oh happy day)