After a great afternoon yesterday of bike rides and lounging in the shade of our tree, our day ended in a little heartbreak and reflection.
As the evening was winding down, I had gone into the yard to pet Galahad as he laid curled up in “his spot” under the tree in the backyard. As I was heading back toward the house, I noticed my sister’s cat Stewey chewing on something. At first glance, I knew it was just another bird he had caught. It wasn’t until after I called to Hubby to grab a piece of paper towel in order to clean it up, that I noticed it had been a baby bird. One that had probably just hatched not too long ago as it was just starting to get the hint of feathers. My mom mentioned that she had seen Stewey jump out of the tree not long ago. We figured that he must have found the nest and knocked the baby out. As I stepped forward to clean up the dead bird, I caught sight of a second baby bird partially hidden by the grass near the base of the tree. This one was much younger than the other, as it was much smaller and had the slightest bit of down covering it’s small body.
I drew little comfort in knowing that both babies were no longer suffering, but it didn’t make up for the loss of such tiny beings. My heart fell as I saw the second bird take a breath. I knew it wasn’t good just by looking at the poor thing. There was definite head trauma and it’s poor little body was mangled pretty good by the cat. As I held that baby bird in my hands, wrapped in the paper towel Hubby had brought, in my heart I was hoping there was a way to save it. But as I hoped for a miracle, I knew in my head that the injuries the tiny thing had sustained both from the fall and from the cat, that it was bad. I knew there was no way to save the tiny creature.
My vision started to cloud as my eyes filled with tears. I knew what needed to be done, but I couldn’t stand by and watch. I handed the small creature to Hubby and I retreated inside to grieve silently for a bit.
I know these things are a fact of life. But my heart still broke for the tiny creatures. In the darkness that filled the living room, I quietly wept with a broken heart.
I wept for the tiny babies who would never get the chance to spread their wings.
I wept for the mother bird who called out for her babies.
I wept for all the mothers, myself included, who have ever lost a child in the womb.
I wept for all the mothers who lost a child during childbirth.
I wept for all the mothers who have lost children due to illness.
I wept for all the mothers who have lost children due to violence and war.
I wept for all the mothers who have ever experienced the loss of a child.
Last night I took comfort in lighting a candle for all the mothers, knowing that I wept for their broken hearts, and wept for their children who have entered Summerland.
A Mother’s Love (available here)