After sending out the newsletter yesterday, honoring
Glory's memory, Caroline sent me a beautiful email:
"Kim, Snowball had a moment of clarity when he
looked right into my eyes before he went to sleep.
I had such a close connection with him for the time
he was with me, but at that moment I felt closer to
him than ever before. His eyes just said so much to
me and for a second, a peace came over me. Of
course I fell apart right after that, and I'll never
stop missing him, but there is no doubt in my mind
that they know what we're doing for them and are
grateful for all our efforts. I know Glory (and the
many many others to whom you've given so much of
yourself) must have felt that.
At one time I thought I could never make the
decision you had to make...I've since learned
that sometimes it's the kindest way. Doesn't
make it easier, but you did what was best for
her. You always do.
I wish there were
words to comfort you. All I can tell you is I
know how badly it hurts. These sweet little
bundles of feathers somehow snuggle their ways
to the very core of our hearts and when one of
them has to leave us, there is a giant piece
missing from our hearts. I love you for all
you've done for all these precious ducks. You
truly are so special and so wonderful."
"I hope Glory felt that way when I looked
into her eyes, but she was more a duck-duck than
a people-duck, so she seemed mad at me more than
anything. But I know once she crossed over, she
would have let that go.
It was hard tucking everyone in tonight
because when Miri went into the barn, she of
course was looking for Glory. I picked her up
and hugged her and kissed her and she just fell
into my arms. Her eyes had that look you are
talking about… I could feel her thanking me for
ending her friend’s pain. But it was so hard to
leave her cuddled in her nest alone to come up
to the house."
Isabel drew me a heart picture with a note
that read: "Im sorry your heart broke I love you
Mom." I just fell to pieces and squeezed her so
tight I thought I could feel Glory again. I
placed the paper into Glory's medical file, so I
will always have it.
And then came insomnia. I kept rethinking
Caroline's words and remembering Glory's eyes...
even as she tried to shake off the drowsiness
that was overtaking her...
Remembering her sitting on the front seat of
my car on the way to the vet's and
asking her to give me a sign if this was wrong.
We walked into the vet office. Our timing was
off. The vet had just gone into surgery. It
would be a half hour wait. Was that the sign?
Should we not do this? I needed to think.
We sat outside in the grass at the vet
office. She did not want to be on her towel, she
wanted the grass. She did not want me to touch
her. She did not like the sound of the cars
passing in the distance. I sat between them and
her. Too soon, the vet tech
came outside and said, "Would you like to do
it out here?" The offer caught me off guard.
I'd never heard of that. Would they do it out
here? And then the thought chilled me. No. Not
here. What if we were partway through and a loud
truck came down the street. Or if one of the
other patients came out on a leash. The last
thing Glory needed to see was a dog--the last
thing I wanted was for her to be startled afraid
at that quiet moment. No. We went inside to a
quiet room with a photo of ducks on the wall.
And I stay up at night remembering her eyes.
Deep brown, guarded wells. Even when she left
this world, her eyes had not let me in. I had
not been freed by her forgiveness. Why... Why
had that not come? It came into Miri's blue eyes
when I held her in the barn that night.
Forgiveness. Sorrow. Thankfulness. Why not from
Glory? Had we made the wrong decision? No. I
remembered arranging the chronological photos of
Glory into the newsletter, and saw before me the
change in her; I was certain she was letting go
and about to die here. Would you like to do
it out here? No. And Glory's eyes again,
telling me I got it wrong. What, Glory? What did
I get wrong? What was I supposed to do for you
that I did not do right? Would you like to do
it out here? No.
At 5:00 a.m. this morning it finally dawned on me. And I
understood. She was ready to die. She
just wanted to die here. She wanted to be
at home. Under her favorite shade tree. By the
water. Near her friends. She wasn't sad to go,
she was sad to go there. Would you like to do
it here? That was the sign. I missed it.
No, I'd like to do it at home. I'll pay
anything if someone can come after their shift
and help her to the other side while she sits
under her shade tree, by the water, watching her
friends. Can anyone help us... Please...
That's what she wanted. And now that I know,
and now that I understand, I can ask for her
forgiveness, and know that I will be forgiven.
And I know that her eyes will turn soft. And I
Good-bye, sweet Glory, I will
never forget you... Ever...