When we realized that Carter’s dog Red had been missing long enough to be concerned I contemplating going to Facebook right away, but knowing that Carter is less hesitant about sharing his personal experiences I decided to wait. A day later and several suggestions later to share Red’s absence in hopes of finding him lead me to a family discussion and the choice to share photos and news that our beloved dog was missing. Quickly people liked, shared, commented and tweeted that Red from Halfway, Kentucky was missing. The response was overwhelming and I think we all expected that meant his safe return. This morning just as the Rolett’s had arrived at the farm for a days work a call came in letting us know that a dog was on the side of the road assumingly hit by a car.
We did what we do-talked about the day ahead, talked about our work in the community, cooked food in the kitchen, started work in the field-all while Nathan and Lilah drove up the road to see if the worst had happened. They returned and I didn’t need anyone to speak a word. Nathan got out of the car and walked over to Carter putting his arm around him. He stood there holding his son for at least 20 minutes (maybe longer). My heart was breaking and having let this boy go on his journey to manhood I knew that it was right to let his father help him through this next passageway. The awareness that life is here and then gone is so overwhelming and unbearable. I stood at a tiny window in our dining room next to my friend Jordan and we watched-we watched a grown man holding his growing boy-we watched the experience of life and death before our eyes all while kids swirled at our feet and work was still to be done and all the while there was just nothing that could be done to make things right.
I went about my work for a while and then out the front door to see Nathan and Carter walking down the hill in front of our house. Carter with his hands in his pockets looking older and wiser and Nathan with a shovel over his shoulder. Carter walked up to me for a quick hug and quickly went to pick up sweet Avery for distraction and connection that can only happen between two boys. As odd as this sounds the rest of the afternoon was filled with light and peace and hard work and connection between those in our community that seem to see that giving means more than receiving. We prepared with grateful hearts for our farm members to join us on the farm to pick up their freshly picked food. We cooked food in the kitchen that we were hopeful would nourish everyone. We worked and laughed and talked and were quiet and we took deep breaths and sighed.
Tonight we shared in loving thoughts and memories about our sweet dog Red. We talked about the ways that we saw God today and how life is short, but beautiful. We were thankful for Red’s ability to join us on this farm and run wild and meet new friends and chase rabbits and on cold nights come inside to sleep in a warm bed. We thank you Red for giving us this day and drawing us closer to one another. For reminding us that loss, sadness, hurts, and feelings aren’t meant to be skimmed over, but accepted as part of life. We miss you sweet Red…rest in peace.