I have never been able to handle death well, and even harder than death itself is the suffering that precedes death. It is so heartbreaking to see something struggling so hard to survive against all the odds, especially when you know they don’t stand a chance. No matter how many times I stroke that poor baby calf’s nose I know it’s dying, and there’s nothing I can do to help it. It can’t walk, nurse, stand or even move, the only thing it can seem to do is wiggle its ear around and breathe. And that’s what it does; it keeps breathing.
Not two days ago it was running up to its mom from the pasture, but I’m sure by morning it will be a lifeless lump of fur in our backyard. It has no chance, no hope of survival, yet it keeps going. I’ve never seen a calf in such a dire state live so long. I thought for sure when we found it yesterday morning that it would be gone in an hour or two. I never dreamed it would hang on for another day and a half, perhaps that is why this is becoming increasingly difficult.
I keep telling myself, this is ridiculous, it’s a calf, not a human stop crying and grow the hell up. I can just imagine what my brothers would say if they ever read this. They’d probably make fun of me for caring so much. My parents would probably think I was engineering fake feelings to appear to be caring. However all of them are wrong, I do care a lot more than they realize. And just maybe the little guy has taught me some things
See I am a really big coward. When something hard happens to me, instead of facing it like a man, I cower and hide. I whine about my life to the nearest ear I can grab. When I’m hurt I slap on a big fake smile and hide my feelings in a layer of sarcasm and humor. When I should be straight up honest with someone I fudge the data as a defense mechanism. Well that baby calf is facing a hell of a hard time tonight.
If she makes it through the night, she’l l just have hell again tomorrow, but she may have an end for her misery. Until then she just keeps breathing. Sometimes we all get carried away, lost in our own worlds but we can learn a lesson from the calf. Even if nothing seems to be going right, just keep doing what you know how to do, what you can do, to get by. Always have hope and Just Keep Breathing.