Tuesday was going great. We were piling into the car so I could take my kids to their music lessons. We roll down the window and I talk to my Feathers Ladies as we drive by. Telling them to have a great day in the Sunshine. One of the first nice days we had had in a while.
As we are driving home from lessons around 4:30pm, we have the music cranked up and singing loudly to our worship music. We are all in a great mood. We pull up into the driveway and I notice right away that 2 of my feathered ladies are on the outside of their fence. Cookie and Sonic are their names. I quickly stop the car and scan the chicken yard to count my ladies…I see Starz and then I look at my Buff Orpingtons (Sunny is the biggest with a normal comb and then Blanch is the smallest of the flock with an awesome floppy comb). I see Sunny in the corner of the fence with Starz…and then I see it….a very large area of blonde colored feathers all over the ground with Blanch laying in the middle. I loudly say, “Oh No, something got Blanch!” My children automatically start screaming and crying. These 5 Hens are our babies. We raised them from 1 day old chicks. Blanch was just a couple days from being 1 year old.
I get back in my car and pull it forward into my parking spot. I tell the kids to go to their grandparents house, (They live with us). I go to round up my ladies that escaped the yard in all the commotion. I finally chase them down and take them back to their fenced area. Then I go to survey the crime scene. And there lay my sweet Blanch. Something, (A Possom), Had decapitated her and ate the flesh off of her back. I know it was a possum from the wound pattern and plus we had previously killed 2 possums on separate occasions inside the chicken fence in the middle of the day. I have been calm and collected this entire time. But when I am walking back up to the garage to get a paper bag to gather her up in I start to lose my composure. I am hurting for my kids and Im hurting for myself. She was My chicken. I mean they are all my chickens but she was the one I named.
I grab a paper bag because I already have made up my mind what we will burn her remains instead of burying her. I walk back to the chicken yard tearing up and asking why. I bend down to pick up Blanch and she is stiff but surprisingly still warm on her belly. This had just happened. I was not home to hear the commotion to possibly have stopped the killing. I place her down into the paper bag and look around to see if her head was anywhere. It was. I bend down again to see her face. I stroked her floppy comb for the last time as I am weeping. She was such a brave and sweet mannered chicken. She was always the one being picked on by the other chickens. She just put up with it and went on her way. She was the only one who would actually sleep inside the chicken house while the others sleep in the covered run. She laid the pretiest eggs. They were a pale brown with speckles of white peeking through.
I place her head with her body and commence picking up as many feathers as I could. especially the bloody ones. Surprisingly enough there was hardly any blood at the scene or anywhere else in the yard. I carry her to the paved part of the driveway and wait for my husband to get home.
Once he is home I tell him what happened. We are all sad and mad at the same time. How does this happen in the middle of the afternoon? These animals are supposed to be nocturnal. My husband built my ladies Fort Knox to sleep in…nothing will get to them at night….so I figured they would be safe during the day. Nope, I was wrong and one of my ladies had to pay for it.
We start a fire in the burn barrel and place her in and have a little memorial service for her. We have a good cry and then try to make it through dinner.
One thing about death of a pet is it brings great opportunities for conversations with our kids. The hard kind of conversations come to the surface and we have to be real. I have noticed that her death has brought mourning but not just for her…but for all the other drama in my life. I have some people in my life that I really mourn their lifestyle and behavior and for their souls. I feel helpless but God has broke my heart for what breaks His….I feel it daily and I don’t know what to do to help anymore. I have tried to do what I felt God prompting me to do but I just get pushed away. I have tried to leave it all at Jesus’ feet but as a human we all tend to take it back to worry about.
Drama has always been apart of my life. Not that I create it or desire it…most definitely not. But God has brought it into my life from other people. People I care a lot about. Loved ones that I cannot help on my own. I pray for all of these individuals by name every waking moment and even when I wake in the middle of the night and their name is on my tongue. God’s timing is not mine and I have yet to see any changes. But I do see God’s blessings all around me and I thank Him for those blessings every day. I see the blessings that He has given others as well. I just pray that those people can recognize them and know they are from God. I am staying faithful but I have to ask why. What good is this in my life? How do I handle it? What am I supposed to do?
I have suffered from anxiety my entire life…from the time I was going off to Kindergarten until today. Anxiety has followed me everywhere. I am an introvert and that just makes things worse for my anxiety. To my surprise last April, my feathered ladies brought me a since of calm in the storm and they still do to this day. When they see me they come running up to me. That just makes my day. I smile and my anxiety goes away for a moment. But I am short one feathered friend that comes running up to me for love. And I will always miss her. Im sad she will never get to meet the 5 new babies. I just knew she would be the mother hen for these new babies. And now she is gone.
I have 5 baby feathers girls in a brooder. They bring me joy watching them grow up. I even have one that likes to cuddle…who knew chickens liked to cuddle. They each have their own personalities and its awesome to see them come out as they grow. And of course we cannot forget my Nola girl. My dog of 14 years. She brings me happiness as well. She sits by my side every morning as I have a cup of coffee before I get my day going. She is always by my side! And then we have my sons Leopard Gecko that I help take care of and she is a sweetie as well. She brings me joy. Seems like I am an animal person huh? 🙂 I love my people more than anything but I know God put animals on this earth not only to feed us but also as friendly companions. They model unconditional love as God has for us.
It just feels as though the drama and heartbreak will always be a part of my life and I will continue to love and pray for those around me. I will stay faithful that maybe I get to see a glimpse of God’s plan and his hand in all of the mess. He has me where I am for a reason. All I can do is lean on Him for my understanding even if and when I don’t understand. We are not meant to understand it all. That’s why He is God and knows all! We are just here to live the best life we can for Him and no one else. He is my heavenly father and I hope I make Him proud.
So like I named this post…it’s more than Goodbye to Blanch. I believe that God uses these types of moments to help us cleanse our souls. To get out what has been pent up in our bodies. I have done a lot of research on how we store our traumatic events, unresolved drama and emotions in our bodies. And so I have been using my God given essential oils to help me release them. If you are curious about this I would be more than happy to tell you about this. But like I said before, God uses moments in our lives to help us do just this. I will mourn the loss of my chicken for a while, But we have to release the pent up yuck from time to time. Even if we don’t suffer a loss. I felt my body was emotionally hitting a wall a few days before this death happened…and it gave me an outlet to let some yuck out. I am grateful for that because it was much needed. We are all flawed people, but in Christ we are whole. If you ever need prayer feel free to email me and I will gladly pray for you. Let’s support each other and live our best lives.