Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Journey! The Last Straw! 13

“Down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandaled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl.”
      Oscar F.O. Wills Wilde

Have you ever heard the saying “the straw that broke the camels back?” We were to finally reach that last straw.
 The sale of the stockers and the pigs, after the quarantine went surprisingly well. Prices were high, and we had more pigs, and stockers to sell later. We had paid all our accumulated bills, and were finally seeing the upside of farming. We were still working very hard but now we were reaping some rewards.
 After the last few years it was nice to have a little breathing room as far as the monetary part of farming, things appeared to be turning around.
 We were heading into another winter but we were prepared. We had lots of firewood; the freezer was full of vegetables, and a variety of good meat. We were all healthy and we were fairly certain this would be our easiest winter yet.
 I could now drive the truck to go visit my family, as now we could afford gas, I could now make the occasional long distance phone call, I could talk to my Mom, or my sister when I felt the need. I was feeling optimistic, and not as isolated. Money was still tight but we would be less stretched
 The winter was another very cold, snowy one. We still had the same woodstove, and the house still would not warm up. This time we could escape to somewhere else to forget, and get warm.
 Christmas was coming so I decided to take M to the mall shopping, or should I say looking. She had never been there and I wanted her to see the decorations, and all that the season had to offer.
 We had a great day and we rushed back to the farm to keep the stove going and get ready for Christmas, which was in a few days. We still would not put up a Christmas tree, as the risk was too high. M did not seem to notice and she was still chatting about the big tree at the mall.
 Christmas came and went and everyone enjoyed being together as usual. It was nice to relax at the Grandparent’s houses and enjoy the festivities.
 A week after Christmas My Hero came down with the flu. This is a man who never gets sick, and if he does just keeps working. He could not even get out of bed. The house was so cold; I just kept fuelling the fire. I was now doing all the chores plus looking after M, and My Hero.
 A few days after that, M started running a high fever and we assumed it was the flu just like her Dad. We kept her hydrated and warm, she was doing OK.
 My brother-in-law dropped by on his way back to the city. M and My Hero were in bed, and the stove was roaring, I was out in the barn doing all the chores. The barn was still warmer then the house. (I thought many times of bringing them both out there to sleep). B came out to help me with the chores and make sure I was doing OK. I guess everyone was very worried about me coming down with the same flu. I was extremely tired and there were a lot of chores. We had animals to feed, cattle, pigs and Mary the cow to milk, and still lots of water to carry. I had to bring in enormous amounts of wood to feed the starving woodstove. B said we would have to change things this was not healthy. He was right.
 By morning My Hero was feeling better but my poor sweet M had taken a turn for the worse. She stopped drinking, and her fever was raging. We took her to the hospital.
 By the time we got her to the hospital through the terrible snowstorm she was very listless, I was so frightened. They immediately put her on IV and started running tests. Her poor little mouth was full of fever blisters.
 We decided I would stay with M, and My Hero would go back home, he was still not well, and he had to do chores, and keep the fire burning.
 It turned out M had mononucleosis (the youngest person they had ever treated for it). Apparently she must have picked it up from the water fountain at the mall. Oh the guilt.
 She was to stay in the hospital; I slept in the chair beside her bed for two nights watching over her. I did not worry about the farm, or anything to do with it. I had a lot of time to think. The thought of taking our child back to that horribly cold house just tore me apart.
 On the third day I phoned My Hero to see how he was doing. He was back at work and needed me to pick up pig feed and go home and feed the pigs. I would have to leave M’s side to go take care of this. He was sorry but he could not get away. "It would not take me very long".
 At that very moment I knew I could no longer live like this, things would have to change. That was my straw. We were more important than this farm, our health was suffering and we were being selfish, trying to live this dream.
 After a week went by they let M come home, she would need constant monitoring, and was to keep warm and hydrated.
 My Hero and I both knew we would have to change our life to protect hers. We would make it through the rest of this winter and then come spring; we would build that new house no matter what it took. This would be our new journey.



  1. Do you just recall these memories or does something trigger them?

    It is so easy to focus on the next step of the journey and forget the obvious sometimes isn't it. One more step and things will change and before you know it......

  2. Mary I have tried to forget most of the journey as I was not very happy. I find that the more I write about it, the more it trigger memories. The good, and the bad. Sometimes this gets me a little down but I am glad we lived through it, and it is great therapy LOL. I started writing it for my girls and they love it. I am extremely happy I can do this for them. Life is great and we should never forget the past. It makes us who we are today. B

  3. Your family must be incredibly strong, having gone through these hardships. Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

  4. I have just found your blog. I enjoyed reading Your Journey 13. At first I thought it was happening now but one of the comments alerted me to the fact that it was in the past. Then I twigged what 13 meant. I started looking in the archives for the first part of Your Journey. Then I found on your profile where the links were. I have read some of them and it is a great collection of memories. I am doing something similar thing , writing about migrating to Australia and my life story. I have put the links in my side bar to make it easier for people to find. I must return to catch up with your story.

  5. Just a thought, and you can dismiss it as such -- would insulating the hell out of your current house help to keep it warm/cool?

    It might be the lesser of two evils.

    Hang in there, B. No one said life was fair. You are doing your best.

  6. Just last night I was reading part of a journal I had written years back, when we farmed, small time, but still demanding our time and energy. Your story is so similar to ours. It is sometimes so difficult to make choices but when the straw breaks, there is no denying what needs to be done.
    Wonderful true entry.

  7. I went back and read all of the previous Journey posts (I had only read #12 before now as I just started following then). Amazing. I still feel terrible for Rocky - and for you. Terrible. What an incredible journey, all started with an auction...

  8. I just read this I am going to go back and read the beginning. Excellent story of the early years. I am so glad when we look back and we see how far we could come and how we could get through them.
    It makes us better don't you think.
    I am going to go read the other 12. I can't wait to see 14 :)

  9. I really do so enjoy coming here.

  10. Your "Journey" posts are a good reminder to us all about how life can really throw us curves even when we're working our selves to death to do everything right.

    These stories will be priceless memories captured for your family. Blog on!

  11. I cannot believe what a journey you've been on.
    Difficult- I can't imagine.
    I'm glad you have memories.....good and bad. You can always see just how far you've come!

  12. How do you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?

    My high school history teacher drilled that question into our minds and I've never, ever forgotten it. It's true, the past isn't always rosy but it helps steer us in the direction we want to go.

    And I so loved reading this post.


  13. Your life back then was very interesting and 'moving'. Things that happen like what happened to you, you always remember those things. It does make us stronger and more determined to do what we have to do, plus make a success of it.
    We all have inner strength and at time like you have described, that inner strenght comes right out.

    Good therapy to write it all down, I was taught that many, many years ago even if it's on a bit of paper and you then burn it in the fire - it's someone to tell.

    Well done on the writing of your life, and lovely of you to share it will us.
    Love M

  14. I can see this journey as a book.

  15. Thank you so much for visting my blog, so I could read your story! You need to make a book. I cried for Rocky. I teach at a second chance program (job corps) and I always tell my children (teenagers) that I want to spend my time with people who have gone through things. It makes people stronger and helps them realize what is truely important in life. I look forward to more entries. Thank you for sharing such strong and personal subject matter.

  16. Hi Buttons,
    I just finished reading all 13 installments of your journey. What an incredible story! I admire your stamina, and thank you for writing this down and sharing it with your readers.


  17. Yes, I can see how that was the final straw. My goodness, after a happy Christmas and then for your hero and M to fall ill... after all the things that had happened in the previous years.
    Such a touching story Buttons. Again, I thank you for sharing.

  18. If our past makes us who we are today then you are one very strong woman!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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