We did chores. It felt good to throw hay, especially since Josh was watering the animals and feeding the pigs and picking up the empty feed bags that the pigs got ahold of and tore all over the place.
Laura made bacon and scrambled eggs and coffee. We slowly moved through the motions. Dot, the little lamb looked fine and so did the little new baby goat.
We went through stacks and stacks of photos, pulling out moments and memories of Philip to try to help people have some little clue what kind of man he was to us. I couldn't find some of our stashes of photos and felt hopeless thinking how important it was to me to show people how many places he visited, how many good deeds he did, how kind he was to the downtrodden, how he made us laugh and carried our stuff and fixed broken things.
Phone calls. Hugs. Loads and loads of firewood gifts.
A friend came and gave haircuts. Other friends took the kids to get dress clothes. Other friends washed dishes and clothes and picked up trash. We cleaned my room. Swept behind the bed and the chair and the desk. Dusted. Terri and Julie and Rachel and I don't even know who all worked nonstop. So much kindness and love and care. From so many quarters.
Regina arrived. My parents and other sister and nephew arrived. So did Charla. So did Holly. Christine went with her son to see the new babies. Dot was unresponsive.
Christine came in for advice and Daddy went to investigate. No milk from the mother.
They brought the little weak thing in to the fireplace and I commanded her to live. She was so weak she couldn't suck and the milk and karo syrup went down the wrong tube and she began to drown. I held her upside down by the feet and the mucus and milk drained out and she began to breathe again. I felt weak and dizzy and sick to my stomach and told everybody they had to take over because I could not bear to see her die. I told God he had to either let her die immediately or let her live because I couldn't bear to suffer one more loss right now.
It was time to go to the funeral home for the family viewing.
Our first time to see Philip after the hospital. The first time for the kids, period.
We watched the video montage of all the pictures and laughed and remembered and cried. The kids and I went in to see Philip with Quigg, our priest. We groaned. We sobbed. We wept and looked at a body that sort of looked like Philip. His nails looked right. They were the nails of a very hard working guy and I recognized them. The hair by his forehead looked right. The funeral home guys did a great job, but they couldn't mask the fact that Philip no longer resides in that shell.
We clung to one another and then sobbed even more with my family.
"How can this be?"
"I can't believe this."
We go home, the lamb is alive.
Julie bought a baby bottle and some colostrum powder and sat with a responsive little Dot on her lap. She, Holly and Charla got peed on. Mom took over, she fed her more and Dot lifted her head, turned around and smiled at my mom. We laughed and laughed. I said thank God. So did everyone else. Then Dot drank a few more sips and snuggled in for a nap.
Kids went to sleep. I somehow managed to eat a few bites of soup, some pita chips and a taste of hummus, even though I didn't feel like it. All the food I love in the house and it looks like dirt to me.
Dot drank some more, got hungry and drank some more and in mid-suck she closed her eyes and feel sound asleep, like a toddler with his hand in the plate of spaghetti o's. She is asleep in a laundry basket by the fireplace and Uncle Mike and Daddy are going to take turns feeding her during the night shifts.
How can Philip be gone?
I can't believe this.