It has been a year today since my Farmer passed…
A year filled with so many emotions; so many changes here at the farm as in our family.
I took over the milking in November with a very heavy heart as personal issues came into play that others thought could not be worked out.
Sold the milk cows as a herd in March to a young man who has much the same goals in life as my Farmer had at his age (24).
A few weeks later I said goodbye to some heifers that joined those milk cows and will hopefully join the ranks of those older ladies.
I believe….I did the right thing for all of those animals.
I sold some machinery that I didn’t need and hopefully some other farmer is baling hay or chopping haylage with that equipment…
I believe…. I did the right thing.
Numerous other decisions were made in the midst of grief as everyone who has gone through the loss of a spouse knows, that may or may not prove to be ‘the best option’ overall. The jury is still out on those but…
I believe…for me it was the right thing to do.
For me this writing is therapeutic. I am now the one who makes those kinds of decisions with the help of my kids and no longer have my Farmer’s input.
But I get feelings…signs. They may all be in my head (or heart) and some I know are not, but my Farmer is my guide. I talk to him…ask sometimes foolish questions, advise or just plain ‘give me a sign’ kind of things.
This morning I believed…that today would be one of the hardest yet. Little did I know that Ed would give me a sign that I asked for rather selfishly as I woke up this morning. “Please let me know that you are at peace and that You Believe in the major decisions I have made up until now”. Sounds foolish I know, but sometimes I feel like I am just not justified to make certain decisions and need reassurance…doesn’t everyone at times?
I certainly don’t expect anyone to agree with everything…after all, I am only human!!!!
One of my jobs today is to take care of my son and daughter-in-law’s dogs which I have done for the last few days while they are enjoying the beach in Maine with the 3 kids.
As I drove up the driveway to their house which is the home we raised our 4 kids in, it hit me…memories of 40 years ago!
I could picture all those years ago with a young family…milk cows in the pasture on the hill behind the house slowly making their way down to the farm to be milked. What a sight…a long line of the black and whites with a few Jersey and Swiss mixed in at that time.
Goats, chickens and turkeys in the yard, loose and on their own. Some specific events came to mind, mostly Sundays when my Farmer would spend the afternoon with me and the kids unless there was hay to get or corn to harvest.
Mind you, this was when our oldest was perhaps 6 or 7 and the youngest 1 or 2 so field work for me at that time was out of the question.
Oh what times they were; kickball or wiffle ball games where I would let the kids win…but Ed usually had to score once or twice just to show them how it was done!!! Building stonewalls, goat yards for kidding nannies and perhaps a re-model of an old milk house of earlier years when cows were actually milked at this place of ours.
Of course by this time, (I had animals to take care of, after all) with a smile on my face and tears rolling down my cheeks I got out of the car and as I turned I noticed a crow sitting on a feeder in the pasture by the calf hutch. “Hi Ed…and thank you for the sign..”
As I walked up the lawn to the house and I got closer there were four small yellow butterflies fidgeting around Allison’s strawberry plant in the wooden tub.
Wow…reached in my back pocket for my phone to get a snapshot and realized it was still up over the sink in the kitchen at home being charged.
So anyway,(I guess I am turning this post into a book so I will finish up) driving back down to the farm it occurred to me that it was my own private signs from my Farmer; perhaps not intended to be shared…but I will never know.
This is what I believe….As much as it hurts to have lost my Farmer, the kid’s Dad and the Grandkid’s Grampy…his life surrounds us in memories sparked by our daily walkabouts.
That is a gift from the man I loved and married, fathered my children and took care of our family.
As much as his loss is felt today on this 1 year anniversary we are blessed with his presence all around us.
To this end I believe….
My Farmer guides me every day
You ask me how I know?
He comes to me in my time of need
As a Butterfly and a Crow!!!
I love and miss you dearly, Farmer….
This is my therapy …