Hi There, Dorene here, I haven’t posted in a while, hope everyone is enjoying this pretty spring. I want to share a tale of wonder that is such a gift in my life. It is truly inspirational.
I recently now live alone and am pretty lousy about asking for help. For the last two weeks, I had felt like death warmed over and was in bed for a few days, only getting up to care for the animals. After about four days of this, I dragged myself out to my car and drove a few miles to St. Louis University Hospital ER, where I was immediately admitted to the hospital for six days. I just got released and came home yesterday afternoon, and am pleased to report that, although rather weary, I feel much better.
Since this was such a sudden change of, well, plan? – I had made no plans or thought for animal care, I thought I was just going to see a doctor and come back home, so an impromptu and quick call was made to my friends, the Stone family.
I am gifted with a myriad of the World’s Most Wonderful Friends, and any and all of them would and could have arranged shifts and schedules amongst themselves, but I am loathe to put people out (except, apparently, the Stones, sorry, guys!) and they came first to mind since we both have chicken flocks and they live very near by to me.
When I called them, I was hoping that I would be released by the next morning, but it was a much longer stay. They were angels and saints to come let my 14-year-old working Border Collie out for me, and tend to her, my parrots, and my chickens’ needs. This was all done with a minimum of direction or instruction from me, as I was on IV’s with pain drugs and pretty dopey, yet they stepped up to the plate with alacrity and clarity and just naturally knew what needed to be done.
And here is where the love pours in.
While I was in the hospital, I had my 50th birthday. No cake, no party, just IV fluids. I considered feeling sorry for myself but could not muster the energy. But yesterday when I was released, I reconsidered the thought, until I got home.
The Stone children had been very, very excited to know what I thought when I got there, so I knew that something was up, but never expected this.
A house, cleaned, picked up, and organized from top to bottom. A hand made sign saying: “Welcome Home. You are loved” perched on my stove in front of a carefully arranged pile of pretty pastel envelopes of birthday cards carefully separated from the other mail. A kitchen with all the dishes washed, dried, and put away in the cupboards and the counters and stove polished to a “t”. The carpets vacuumed and the floors swept. Six tiny, 7-hour-old black Catalonian Penedesenca chicks that my surrogate hen, Cuckoo, had been sitting and brooding and just hatched after 21 days. Well, the kids were not responsible for that, but while I was still waiting for discharge in the hospital, they sent an excited text photo to my phone for me as they discovered them while tending to my flock and we had all been eagerly awaiting their arrival.
The creme of the cake was when I went upstairs before bedtime. Those darling-ly children artfully and playfully arranged stuffed animals—50-year-old remnants of my childhood—on my bed for a fun surprise.
When I called (trying to not cry from how dear the gesture was), the painfully innocent, happy, cheerful response was: “Well, we wanted that to be your Happy Birthday present, so that you had old friends to be with you when you went to bed”.
This family is a blessing, an inspiration, and a gift, and I am so lucky to have them in my life.
TARA Training and Behavior, LLC, www.doreneolson.com