Saturday, March 25, 2017

Photos, memories and a promise to BA

Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.
                        Herman Melville

This morning I walked past the new calves on my way to check to see if there were any born overnight. The twins Jack and Jill were lounging about. Alice, whose mother is Snow, and her grandmother, Bossy2 was busy eating. She does that a lot.

Jack and Jill had actually been named Jack and Rosie until they headed up the hill and then Jack came back down to greet me. The names seemed to fit. The twins mother Annie had been a bottle fed baby because when she was born she was abandoned on a cold winter morning.
My Hero was by my side wearing his coveralls. This would be when warm memories flooded back.

My best friend since we were five years old BA had come to the farm one winter’s day and stayed over. She, being a city dweller wanted to help me during the calving season here on the farm. Well, I could not wait to have her help me. At that time Annie needed three feedings a day and there were a lot of cows having calves, so I was grateful for the help.

We dressed BA in My Hero’s coveralls, which were too short for this girl who has always been, heads taller than I. She pulled on his work boots. We mixed the bottle for Annie and headed off to feed her the warm bottle of milk replacer. We headed off in the tractor. BA was also excited about the thought of baby photos to show her friends back in the city. You know those “What did you do on your vacation” photos you pull out to share after.

BA stepped out of the tractor and then I stepped out behind her. BA had the bottle, and I did not. Well, Annie ran for me. BA stood there holding this bottle with a disappointed look on her face. It did not take very long for Annie to figure out who was holding that bottle. BA’s smile was something I will never forget.

That same year, and not long enough after my best friend since I was five years old BA spent that time here on the farm, to experience the farm life, things changed drastically for BA and all those who love her.

You see BA was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

BA fought a long difficult battle, with her dignity and a keen sense of humour intact. Last year, on Good Friday, my best friend since we were five years old BA, slipped away to join her loved ones that were waiting for her, in a place where there is no pain.

Why am I writing about BA today? Well, we would talk on the phone most days and she was a big part of my blog. There were many people who supported her from my blog while she was going through this. She appreciated that so much. I had made her a promise that I would make sure her story would not be forgotten. Make sure her message would be heard.

She wanted everyone to take control and care of their own health. To not put it off because you think you are too busy. She wanted you all to know that your colon health is a very important part of that. If you are over 50 or have a family member who was diagnosed with colon cancer, you need to get tested regularly. You should talk to your doctor. They will make sure you have the right test for you. Your doctor can set up the tests, be that a colonoscopy or a fecal swap test. These are free, here in Ontario. The most important thing she wanted you to know was that if caught early this is a Cancer that can be beaten. BA wanted no, she needed you to get this information. She wanted you to know that there should be no embarrassment in these tests. It is very important that we all talk about it.

So this blog post is for you BA. You are loved and missed by all who knew you. I will continue to stress this important message.

Annie had her twin calves (Jack and Jill) on the first day of spring. I thought this was very symbolic. BA loved Annie and asked about her every time we talked. I sent her many photos of Annie, and I do know she would want to see photos of these twins and Alice if she was still here.

Call your doctor, it is important and I made a promise I intend to keep.