Saturday, November 14, 2015

This morning,

This week is the anniversary of our last week with Dad. Today is the anniversary of the day Harvey ran out into the road and to his death. My mind is filled with images of Dad, both of the months and years before his death, and of that intense week of holding each other while we cared for him. And even though it seems silly and trivial in comparison and in impact, I also miss the way Harvey leaned his bulk against me every morning as he greeted me for the day.

Yesterday was the terrorist attacks in Paris. This last week had the protests at Missouri University. Every day contains news of death, of fleeing homelands, of human trafficking, of racism. There are so many people hurting in so many ways.  

Lighting my candle and repeating my prayers seems so small.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

My grandchildren were here yesterday. We went outside to play. The boys saw a rabbit run across the yard in front of the barn and went to investigate.

Chuck keeps the A-houses that need repairs in a row in front of the barn. For those of you unfamiliar with our farm, the A-houses are the right size for one sow and her litter. During the seasons when their litters are being born, the A-houses are arranged in yards surrounded by dirt and divided by hot wires. The sows are given straw for nesting and their babies are born and raised there until it is time for weaning...about 2 months.

Luke, the 7 year old, climbed up on top of the first A-house to try to see where the rabbit had gone. Aaron, who is tall for a 4 year old but not quite tall enough, tried and failed to climb up beside his brother. Luke called to Aaron and reached out his hands. Aaron reached up. Between the pulling from the older and the scrambling from the younger, Aaron easily made it up.

The search for the rabbit was soon abandoned, but that row of A-houses was now an obstacle course to be conquered. The boys would jump down from one. Luke would climb up the next one, stop and turn, and reach down his hands to his brother. Aaron would reach up and scramble, and then they would both be up on top just for a moment before repeating the process on the next one over.

I wish I had pictures of them grasping hands and pulling up.

Sometime during the second or third trip back and forth through the row, Aaron scrambled up by himself alongside Luke. He'd watched enough and figured out how to use speed and leverage, and done something he could not do before. His face at that moment showed a mix of surprise, joy, and pride in his accomplishment. The game changed at that moment to a game of equals rather than helping.

I wish I had a picture of him in that moment, hands outspread, joy and awe on his face.

I'm not sure what the lesson is in this but it helps me somehow on this day of horrible news events to keep those mental pictures in my mind. 

The hands grasping hands to help one another. 

The delight in becoming able to fend for oneself without help. 

The joy of playing hard as equals.