Missing my little boy

The day broke bright. And warm. The sun and fresh air called to my children and I found myself drinking in the morning air as I told them to feed and water the poultry. And again as I called them to breakfast. And again as I called them to start school. And again as I called them back to school after putting the baby down for his nap.

School is of little use on a day perfect for running, so I decided to put their running to use.

“It’s time to teach Faithful what she’s for,” I told them. “It’s time to teach her to herd the ducks and geese.”

Every morning until planting, the waterfowl must be taken to the garden to pick over the weeds and spread their nitrogen-rich manure. Every evening, they must be returned to their pen to protect them from all that lurks in the dark.

Last fall, herding was a simple task. I opened the gate and they followed me wherever I went. Now, after a season of captivity, they celebrated their freedom. Quacking, honking, flapping . . . wings beat the air, and the geese left the ground for their first flight of the year. They made it about ten yards, but it was all too much for the children who began chasing them, stretching their wings, shouting their appreciation of freedom in the fresh country air.

“They flew, Mommy! They really flew!” Bug shouted to me, eyes shining.

Finally, they wore themselves out. Geese and ducks and children returned to me, out of breath from the pure expression of joy. I smiled, told the children where to walk and we slowly pushed the birds toward the garden.

Released from their chore, the children went back to the hill to tackle it with their bikes. I remembered my camera.

I also remembered how difficult it is to take pictures of the geese, for every time I kneel down, they run toward me, head lowered, honking  and peeping in an excited greeting.

“It has been awhile, hasn’t it?” I asked Turkey as he walked up to the fence. “I’m sorry, guys. But it’s been a long winter.”

For a moment, I could almost see Tiggy standing there beside me, hugging his sippee cup under one arm, pointing at the geese.

“Chickie chickie!”

And in that same moment, I realized I had been avoiding the poultry. Every day, three times a day, I sent the children down in pairs to do a chore I almost always did before. A chore I almost always did with Tiggy at my side.

“Chickie chickie!”

I smiled as the tears burned and my heart sang with a feeling of love so intense it overwhelmed any other emotion. How many times have I felt that for him before? When I first felt him kick, held him in the hospital, watched him sleep. When I nursed him, sang to him, held his little hand. When he kissed me, rubbed his baby brother’s head, giggled his little boy giggle.

But before there was a forehead to kiss, a wisp of hair to stroke, a Tiggy to hold. Now, I just had this moment. So I sat there in the damp grass at the edge of the garden, watching the geese, listening to the excited squealing of the children and missing my little boy.

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
This entry was posted in Geese, Rural life, Tiggy. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Missing my little boy

  1. ChristineMM says:

    Oh Dana I’m (still) so sorry for your loss. Your writings about this tragedy are some of your best pieces. I hope the writing process is cathartic for you and it helping you along on your journey of healing. I’m also looking forward to stories of joy about your healing so we know there is a good amount of the happy stuff happening with your family in the midst of the sadness. Hugs to everyone.
    ChristineMM´s last [type] ..My Driveway During the Ice Storm

  2. Monica says:

    I can’t begin to imagine your pain. I am in awe of your ability to write and tell the stories of the precious gift of your beautiful, little boy. And not being able to have him with you now. I wonder what you do with your anger sometimes. Writing with an axe on concrete might be the way to go. There is nothing else that I can think of to say.

  3. Karen says:

    Dana, Thank you for sharing you heart with the world. The more I read your blog, the more I have realized to truly, truly, savor every moment. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Thank you though for continuing to write and to share.
    Blessings,
    Karen

  4. Neslihan says:

    Dear Dana,
    I’ve been reading your posts for a long time, and very sorry for your loss. I read this one too with tears in my eyes.. thank you so much for still writing, sharing your thoughts with us and being able to coping with your emotions..
    I’m sending you a very big hug from Turkey!

  5. Jen says:

    Dana, Thank you for sharing that sweet story with us, it is a poignant expression of your love of your son and your sorrow.
    Jen´s last [type] ..Come on take a peek- I know you want to!

  6. Rae says:

    Usually when my time is short and I am doing the blog hop and want to take the time to let the blogger know I’ve come out of my feedreader I leave a little :)
    Today, that seems to wrong. I’m here. I have no great words of wisdom and leaving a :) just doesn’t seem right or enough. You and your family are still in my prayers.
    Rae´s last [type] ..Perspective

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  8. Phyllis says:

    My heart aches for you.
    Phyllis´s last [type] ..The Aztecs 1300-1500

  9. Q says:

    Inhale . . . exhale . . . and know that you and yours are being prayed for.

    Especially when you’re moving the chickies.

  10. Chris says:

    The day sounds wonderfully vibrant and terribly sad…. a very deep indescribable sad. Your eloquence and ability to articulate the range of your days is a beautiful gift. Thank you for letting so many of us share your gentle, compelling spirit. You are in my thoughts and prayers more than daily :-)

  11. Tracey says:

    That’s beautiful, Dana. I read each and every one of your blog posts…you will survive this.

  12. Dana says:

    Thank you everyone. Getting ready for spring has been such a confusing mix of emotions. At first, I wanted to put all our projects on hold. My husband, on the other hand, felt a sudden urgency to do everything we could. With each thing we do, I feel a strange mixture of feelings. This is what we moved here for and I’m happy for the bees and the orchard and the garden and the poultry we’re planning on adding to. But at the same time, it feels so empty without our little boy.

    I keep telling myself it has to be better to sit at the garden’s edge and cry than on the couch. :)
    Dana´s last [type] ..Missing my little boy

  13. Jeff says:

    Thanks for sharing Dana. I echo the thoughts of previous comments.

  14. Dana says:

    And Christine, the writing does help. It’s hard. I can’t always bring myself to it, even when I have something I want to write about. But it does help.
    Dana´s last [type] ..Missing my little boy

  15. Sara Savel says:

    :) and :(

    Beautifully written. You have such a gift for sharing your experiences. Grief is so hidden in our culture. By opening yourself up this way I believe that it will help others who are dealing with their own losses not feel so alone.
    Sara Savel´s last [type] ..My pipe filled childhood memories

  16. cara says:

    Oh Dana- my heart aches as I read these latest posts! I just want you to know that I am sincerely praying for you and your whole family. I try to think of words to say to you, but there is really nothing I can say. But I want you to know that there are people everywhere that care and pray and hurt for you. Much love, Cara

  17. Sharon O says:

    wow… what a beautiful post. I am so sorry about your loss and your ‘story’. I so wish it didn’t happen.

  18. Eva says:

    I pray for you, and cry for you, every time I read a new post. And I think of Tiggy everyday- a child that I did not know of until he was gone.
    Your family is always in my familys prayers.

  19. Wendy says:

    Dana,

    I’m still so surprised by how much your blog has spoken to me, even though I don’t know you face to face. You’ve taught me so, so much just by sharing your hard journey, and your thoughts on motherhood.

    I must admit that I sometimes feel guilt when I think about the moments I have with my son, because I’d love to give some of them to you. But I promise you that your story has made a difference, and I will forever remember to cherish every day.

  20. Teri Miller says:

    Thank you. Always, you point me away from my self-absorption, and back to the gifts before me.

    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight.com
    Teri Miller´s last [type] ..So This Is Love

  21. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Faye says:

    This being Mother’s day, I’m sharing your grief of missing your son. Though I was blessed to have my son for 42 years, the hole inside me is still there and burning. I love going to God’s house, but that’s where I seem to miss him most; he sat in the pew in front of me with his sweet wife. Bitter-sweet times! Almost 3 long years! God’s grace will carry us through this. May God give you comfort, and always remember, God loves us, His children. Thanks so much for your sharing!

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