Years back, in a Bible study, Father Kevin told an illustration: The community and world is like a pond quiet and still. So still the water reflects the surrounding area. When a person commits a sin, the effect to the community is like dropping a pebble in the pond. Ripples form and move outward toward the edges. The farther away from the pebble, the less noticeable that the pebble was dropped, but the whole pond was affected by the action of dropping a pebble.
So much in so little time passing. March was a very busy month lambing, working a job, helping Hank recover and prepping five sheep for a sheep show and sale on April 14 and 15. I had things going well, busy as a bee I was, but getting things done.
At work, I was offered the opportunity to become a meat cutter. I was looking into schoolings excited about the opportunity to learn a new trade. The district meat manager wanted to have me trained to be a meat cutter, then become a meat department manager in another store close by. I thought this was a good opportunity and excited for the opportunity.
Then Easter arrived. The day of celebration the risen Savior – and my world drastically changed. The one ewe I planned on showing lambed, a big relief, but the afternoon was not one to celebrate.
Easter Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from my son. I thought the call was to wish a Happy Easter, only it was not a happy call. His voice portrayed an emotionally upset person. When asked what was wrong, I learned he and his wife had an argument. She left with the children, only to call him to have him meet her there so they could discuss the root of the argument. When she was not happy with his answer, she locked herself in the car with the children and proceeded to slice her wrists. Police, ambulance and admittance to a hospital took place. Now, he has no one to look after the three small children, and he needs to keep working. “Mom, can you come get the children and care for them?”
I left the next morning at 5 am to head towards Indiana. My son was heading towards me, and when we met in the same town, I would get the children and he would head back to Indiana and go to work.
The children, ages 3 years, 2 years and 10 months. They have not had the best of care during their short lives. I learned the two oldest boys, would eat from snack foods in a basket all day. The 10 month old drank mostly bottles. None are potty trained and all are non-verbal. They have been with a mother who does not talk, but yells at them a lot.
When I reached the town he was located in, I found the Wal-Mart. While driving, my mind was thinking of how was I going to use a restroom, with three babies. At the Wal-Mart, I found a folding stroller/wagon that would hold the baby and 2 year old. I also purchased some baby food, baby spoons, snacks and drinks for the 2 and 3 year old. Then I went to the hotel to meet my son.
When I walked in all the children were sleeping. While I was learning about how the children had been living the past then months, the 2 year old started crying and yelling in his sleep. My son picked him up and assured him he was safe. I was informed both the 2 and 3 year old have night mares. I decided to leave in two hours, letting the children sleep for a bit. It would be easier on me to travel at night with three small children as they would sleep most of the way.
In two hours we woke the children up. Moved three car seats to my dual cab truck in the back seat. I gave the 2 and 3 year old, drinks in the new cups I purchased and some granola bars. Hugged my son and we started traveling. The drive was long, we arrived at 3 AM on Tuesday. Since I had not had time to make the beds and crib, they slept with me in our bed, my husband moved to the living room. He had to work in a few hours.
I had contacted a person Mr. CH to feed for us while we were at the sheep show and sale that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He was scheduled to be there at 9 AM to learn the routine of doing chores. Thankfully his wife came along with him. I informed the of the situation. Gave Mr. CH the feeding instructions, and Mrs. CH watched the three children while I went to the store to buy some groceries, a high chair and child fence to make a play area and child proof materials.
Two days before we are to leave for a sheep show and sale, and I am caring for three very small children, still needing to get three of the five sheep clipped. I called my manager on Monday while I was driving to let them know the situation and I was going to have to quit immediately. It was long days of working with children and sheep. Getting beds made, clothes sorted, changing diapers – 1,2,3 and getting the children on a feeding schedule instead of eating whenever all day. We got the last sheep clipped on Thursday, loaded the children, eight livestock guard dog puppies were going to try and sale at the sheep show, and headed to Duncan, OK. We arrived late, but were not the last ones to check in. Got the sheep in their pens, all marked then went to find the hotel.
The hotel, did not have an elevator, and we were on the second floor. The moving of children and equipment up the stairs and to our room was laborious. The stroller/wagon I purchased, was the 10 months old bed. The 2 and 3 year old slept on one bed, us on the other and sometimes all of us.
The morning of the show, after I do not even know how many angry meltdowns the 2 year old had, I told my husband he was going to have to show my ram, Big John. I had been planning and working on showing him for almost a year. Now the day was here and I would not be the one in the show pen. My husband, a very loving man, but I knew he would be so frustrated in having to deal with the 2 year old, the best decision for both was I would take care of the children, he would show the sheep. A friend was there watching, he jumped in and helped my husband with the sheep and selling the puppies.
A very sweet Godly woman I was drawn to at the first Dorper show my husband and I attended, was there. She had met my husband at the sheep pens, wanting to have a look at my ram I was proud of. She heard the story, and came to find me. Her hug was sent from heaven. Donna said she would pray for me. I am not sure of her religion, Quaker or Mennonite, but I am sure of her faith.
Our sheep did not win Grand Champions, or even win a class. But there were many others who did not. Saturday was the true reason we came, sale day. I wrote the description for each sheep, and set the reserve price. I listened to the bidding on the Champions and Reserve Champions, the prices were much lower than last year. I was not able to see my ram sale, but it was above the reserve. I was there present when the ewe and lamb sold. Donna had seen me, and was standing next to me as we watched and listened. The ewe and lamb sold for $1,900.00 USD. A very good price for the sale, and an excellent price considering the ewe and lamb were Pureblood and not Fullblood Dorpers, as there is a big price difference. Donna looked at me, and said, “That is God.” I replied, “I know that is God, as they are Purebloods.” Donna’s pointed upward, “That is definitely God!” All our sheep sold for more than the reserves.
We spoke of how the children were calmer, and listening better. The 2 year old did not have one angry meltdown that day. They were coming around. I told Donna how it is love that is helping the children. There are many gifts we can have, but the greatest is LOVE. Donna replied that none of the other gifts work unless there is LOVE. So true.
Now I am a Granny caring for three small grandchildren. All do not speak words. All use diapers. They are always hungry. The 2 year old is angry and frustrated, the 3 year old is withdrawn, and the 10 month old is happy. All need love, need structure and God’s healing touch.