Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm back!

Sorry for my absence: life has a way of pulling nasty tricks on us, thus shutting down the normalcy of everyday work. My response to the shock that came my way was to focus on the solution, to the ignorance of everything else, including my blog.

But I'm up and running again. One of the nasty things biting at my ankles like an annoying chihuahua was Death. I hate Death, the Grand Ruiner of all things.

In just a matter of a few months I lost several friends. Death broke into my home and took away several cats: Little Eggie, Bonnie the Bitch, and Maggie--all old felines but still helpless in the grip of the Grim Reaper.

Within a few weeks I had to invite unforgiving Death into my home and put to sleep the first of a number of aging pot-bellied pigs. First, he took Chico, a good-natured soul who could not keep weight on and simply deteriorated with each passing day. Then, Lowell, my first swiney friend who I bought for $50 back in 1994, looked at me with a pitiful face, a face begging me to take him from this life of aging misery and into a space of nothingness. With the nothingness came freedom from discomfort and pain. So, much to my own misery, I accommodated his request: I had him put to sleep.

This past Saturday I had Annie Louise sent into Death's skeletal arms. She, too, was old and had lost complete control of her back end. Death gladly took her despite my trying to hold on and extend her life.

As I grow old, so do my pets. What began as a farm housing fourteen pot-bellied pigs, now remains a home for my last seven, with Pauly, another elderly fellow, already knocking at Death's door. Every morning and evening and sometimes during the day, Pauly loses his balance, falls over and waits for me to come right him. He is much appreciative. But as he grows thinner and thinner and weaker and weaker, I realize he's not going to be able to sustain himself much longer. I expect him to live no longer than about two weeks. However, I promised him and myself that I would not let him suffer. And I won't.

I am sorry that I had to come back to my blog with such a sad, despairing tale, but Death is a part of life on a farm, not a farm for butchering animals but one for allowing them to live each's life to his or her natural end. Though Little Eggie, Bonnie, Maggie, Chico, Lowell, and Annie had good, full lives here and appreciated the good life on the Balliet farm, they didn't fear Death as I did. In fact, I feel they welcomed the monster. Behind the horrid face of Death lay calm and peace, and freedom from pain. And though Death took each one in slightly different ways, they suffered no fear because I was with each one at the Moment. I became the strength whereby they could say "Good-bye" without apprehension.

Death cannot intimidate or scare when someone is whispering "I Love You" in the dying animal's ear. In that moment, Death loses all his strength, his ferociousness--his mystery.