Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Wrestling the Angels
After last week's Wednesday, I woke up ready to greet this one with a smile and routine.
Last week, a coyote scared my kids into hiding in the car, and our dog scared it off of the deck. I was right behind the dog chasing the coyote away with shouts. Running in the morning ice, I fell hip-first onto a deck chair. This is the hip that has clumsily hit the ground hard, more times that I would like to admit (see previous posts).
Later that day, I found the body our our cat outside in the grass. The reason the coyote was on the deck in the first place? He was there to eat our cat, and we scared him away before he carried her into the woods, though not before he loudly killed the cat and scared the kids. I had to bury the cat in the yard with two crying kids.
After a week of ice packs and sleeping on my right side (which is the wrong side) I decided to take an easy walk up the hill. This was after a perfect morning of stay-at-home-mom-ness. I even thought to myself as I walked up the driveway, "what a perfect way to redeem last Wednesday" beyond my folded laundry, clean house, full fridge, and clean floor.
Walking up my little road to nowhere, I saw cars parked to the side, and a woman crying. I got closer and saw a man stroking the head of a half-dead baby dear. The failed christian in me turned to walk home, but the tears of the woman and the kindness of the man moved me forward. The woman grabbed me and hugged me. I told her I was so sorry. She cried more. If the man moved away from the deer, it would struggle to run. It was a gruesome sight. The woman cried more, I stepped closer to her side. We waited for the sheriff to come to get the deer, and it seemed like ages, though at most, ten minutes.
No sheriff arrived, but a Grass Valley policeman. He was very neat and trim and young. Summing him up, I didn't really think he had much to offer the scenario until he put his hand to his side to unlock a gun from his holster. The woman cried and ran to her car not wanting to watch, just as two more cars came to the scene just trying to head up the road and stopped.
I turned to look away, but not in time. I saw the officer take out his gun and shoot the baby in the head. There was blood. A terrible thing to watch for us all, but not as bad as watching it struggle. A terrible thing for a passerby to drive up to during lunch time. The officer put on some gloves and pulled the body off the street. Everyone turned and left slumping a bit.
I had some time to think about what had happened as I walked back to my house. Last week's trauma was about how things we work hard for can easily be lost. I am still recovering from falling in the ice, I am still sad to see the bag of kitty food in the laundry room. This week's trauma was about what I do have.
I came upon that scene, not by accident. The reason is who I am. I can comfort in the midst of suffering. I didn't turn and leave, telling myself that I would only be in the way. What I brought to the woman, was who I am. Who I am is all I have. I didn't add to the gruesomeness of the moment by walking away. In this way, last week's trauma was redeemed with this week's trauma.
My hip still aches terribly. It looks terrible. Today I'm going to use it to remember.