(I wrote this piece last weekend and debated even posting it all week. It still makes me tear up. But, after running it by a few close friends, I realized that the emotion in farming isn’t really talked about and that it’s a conversation I want to start.)
We lost a baby kid today.
Even typing those words sends tears down my cheeks. As I sit on the couch, him on my lap, it's hard to believe that he's gone. I don't want to believe it.
The truth of the matter is that we couldn't have saved him. He was too cold, dehydrated and starved. His mother had been clogged and rejected him in her pain, so he didn't get a chance to even taste her life-giving milk until we took him inside in one last effort to change the inevitable.
I named him Bruce, because he tried fighting to live, he really did. I told him as I held him that if he fought through this, he'd need a big strong name to get him through life. He gave a tiny bleat in reply.
The reality of farm life is that animals die. For someone like me who pours my heart and soul into them, it's incredibly difficult. We'll do everything possible to save them, and when it can't be stopped, we'll sit and hold them as they draw their final breath. Bruce was our sixth kid born on the farm and the third born this week. He was the first, and only one, to not make it.
But just like death is the reality of life on a farm, there’s also a picture of grace. Because in the moments that Bruce was succumbing, another baby made its way into the world.