Several months ago, we saw some eggs in a puddle. They were in a gelatinous line instead of a clump, so we knew they were toads. And we wanted a toad!
We took some.
We raised them up from small and legless to small and 4 legged.
Have you ever seen this up close? It is one of the best things.
They ate boiled lettuce, flakes of egg yolk and chicken feed. We used water from the gutter for their pond. We split pieces of rotten wood filled with ants to feed them for days. They hunted the ants down with joy.
And on Thursday, I noticed they were out of ants. So i took them outside to locate some more.
I set them on the log and peeled bark. What an abundance of ants! I watched them hunting in the stonecrop. And then a friend called.
That night it stormed so hard that our basketball hoop fell over. So did the corn that was waist high. A blue bucket previously out by the chicken coop ended up on our porch.
I got up in the early morning to shut windows and things were ruined with water. Ruined!
It rained so hard.
I didn't think of the toads.
I went to an outpatient surgery early that morning. All went well and i came home and slept for 20 hours straight.
When i got up, i felt pretty good. The kids made breakfast which we all enjoyed.
At some point i noticed the toads weren't there and it all came back to me. I had left them outside.
Perhaps it was the narcotics, maybe hormones or pain. But i sobbed and couldn't stop. I just needed a private moment to mourn.
I felt bad for the toads and the kids, but i also felt the pain of loss in general.
How MUCH more so for my friend who recently gave birth to her daughter, Annalisia. She died 10 minutes later and my friend will continue to grieve her loss.
For everything, seen and unseen.
For putting all her best into Annalisia and never getting to see that to fruition.
I am not equating the loss of our 3 toads' lives to a human baby. Not at all...
But all life is precious. And the loss of it should smart.