The Squirrel. God. Me.

Ten years ago, my youngest son was playing outside in our back yard. Suddenly he was at my side excitedly working to get my attention. Follow me, mama…you need to see something…

We went out back, and he held my hand, pulling me to a corner where our off-grade house foundation came together. There was a tiny squirrel, squawking and pressing his little body into the structure as best he could, obviously terribly disturbed by the presence of looming and large humans.

Mom…we need to save him…can we, mom?

I went inside and got sturdy leather gloves and a shoe box with a lid…and we got the poor, scared little critter. Immediately I went to my trusty source of all information, google, and quickly read about the likelihood of the age of the little squirrel, how/what to feed him, how/what to put in his enclosure to help him feel safe and secure, how/what to help him potty…

My precious boy didn’t leave my side…helped to scald the milk…said soothing and comforting things to the scared little squirrel…found all the items we needed and put them in a big box…filled the syringe with the milk…and quickly calmed the squirrel to the point that he could hold him and feed him.

Babysquirreleating3

Meanwhile I went back to google where I learned tons about wild, abandoned squirrels in no time at all. I found squirrel rescue sites and read their advice and information, and learned about the potential of re-releasing this little guy back in the wild after he was old enough. My son was completely captivated, and the squirrel seemed content to curl up in a nook or cranny of his body and sleep.

It was really sweet.

This went on for four days, with all of the family enjoying the antics of the baby squirrel and regularly talking about how and when we would release him. We each enjoyed holding him and feeding him, but it was the youngest son who adopted him for his own.

Until day four.

Day four, the baby squirrel was obviously not feeling as perky. He barely ate, he just wanted to stay curled up, and my mama heart knew we were in trouble. I went back to google, and frantically searched for some answer, some resource. I emailed several of the rescuers and tried calling a few more, leaving messages. Meanwhile, the baby squirrel was failing fast, and I held him, frantically willing him to continue living. I ended up in my living room where I have four large windows, two which look out into our back yard. Tears began to stream down my face…and I began to pray…no…PRAY…God…please God…please save this baby…I know, I know you have thousands of squirrels out there, and I know, squirrels don’t live that long anyway…but I am asking you to save this squirrel…God please save this squirrel…

Before I knew it, I was sobbing, and from deep within came this.

God…You are supposed to love us, not just “us” but me…God, please…please let me know that you hear ME…that you love ME…please God…save this squirrel…please let me know that you care at all about ME…

DesperateWoman

The squirrel died.

HUSBAND had come into the living room midway through my begging. He had stood by me, put his arms on my shoulder. I begged him to pray, too, and have a vague memory of him doing so in some stilted fashion. But even with him there, I was alone. I was alone with him, and I was alone with God. We were there, the three of us, but we were there.                    And there.                     And there.

Alone-RobinWilliams

A little of me died that day too. As the story of my life unfolds, however, it ended up not being the end of the story. In a very odd way, it was the start.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “The Squirrel. God. Me.

  1. I think everybody knows I’m pissed off at God….so part of me wants to say “see? See what you get for praying?” But I won’t. I know He’s still out there for most people.
    That quote by Robin Williams was going to be one of my “a quote a day for three days” but I changed my mind.
    You and I both know what it’s like to be with somebody and still feel alone. I was in the same town with all four of my children but they never took the time to drive ten minutes to see me. They would drive ten hours to see Loser and the WTC, though.
    Talk about feeling alone….wow.
    I think the loss of that little squirrel shook you up more than it shook up your son. Did you know about dip-shit then?

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    1. Oh no…I knew nothing about dip-shit past or future at that point. I was so alone in the midst of people, disconnected yet living in a crowded life of marriage, 4 kids and constant house-guests. It was weird…it was revealing that the moment really wasn’t even about saving the squirrel…it was about needing so badly to know that this God I heard about, trusted, believed in, even remotely cared about me. My son? Sad for a few, but absolutely moved on. Me? Shaken to the core. Thanks for understanding, Laurel. Hope your day is great.

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  2. What a sad story. I am sorry about that. We all have to go through losses in life, unfortunately. I hope you could comfort each other in the family, when that happened. I love squirrels, so this was really sad. Hugs!

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  3. 😦 This is really sad. For the squirrel, sure, but mostly for the loneliness you felt then and a bunch of other times, at least I so assume. I know I did. I am afraid we all know that feeling when you feel more lonely in the presence of others than when you are on your own. There’s this big wall that’s being built without you realising it until one day you just don’t see the other side anymore.

    Now, relationship with God is hard because His communication is not always easy to decode. Sometimes we don’t fully understand the plan, and we ask for the wrong things. Not at all saying it was wrong to ask for the squirrel to live, more that it was in God’s plan for you to go through that experience that day. It made you stronger, it made you grow. That’s why probably you are as strong and wonderful as you are – and it took a little innocent squirrel as a sacrifice from God. Silly as it sounds, that little squirrel probably has a sweet spot in Heaven now.

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  4. Maybe the squirrel was fated to die on the day it was found and your caring merely prolonged its life for a few more days. Hard to say about the ways of the world of nature. But it’s good to find any excuse to attempt to connect with God and philosophize a bit about life.

    Good to see you signed up for A to Z. You might want to consider adding the A to Z badge near the top of your page so visitors will know that you are actually participating. Have a great time in April as you post from A to Z.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  5. This is both tender and heartbreaking. I know the feeling of alone while surrounded all too well. I’m glad you have you faith in God. Even when it seems he is not listening, he is there. Always. I often imagine him cradling me quietly when I feel most broken. Times like that need no words and sometimes answers come in silence. 💙

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  6. Saving – first, I
    Just love your entire family’s love for this baby squirrel and wanting it to live.

    I wonder what God is thinking and feeling in those times, when we come to Him completely broken asking for something that He knows will not be answered the way we want. I know that in those times there’s a big picture view that we can’t see.

    I know your loneliness well Saving. Thank you for sharing this post. It’s hard and also encouraging to read at the same time! Hugs to you my friend!

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  7. Your memories are so interesting and heart breaking. Hopefully getting them out helps in some way? I have posted that Robin Williams quote a few times before in different places. Mostly, however, in relation to my husband and people with secrets, and depression. I believe a good portion of BE’s illness stems from how his parents made him feel as a child. I fear BE knows a lot about how Robin Williams felt when he wrote that. It is so difficult and sometimes debilitating to fix those deep deep wounds. He must have felt like this a lot when he chose not to share his deepest secrets with the person he loved the most. From your posts and comments, I feel you have healed some of your own wounds. I hope so anyway. ❤

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  8. I’ve come back to read this several times. I relate on many levels. We had a mouse episode that still sticks with me. More importantly, when a friend found me distraught at work after discovery, I remember telling her I had been alone for so long. I’m not sure I could have put those words together before Dday. I think I had never really acknowledged it before that time. And then, of course, there is my continuing faith crisis. I prayed each Sunday after communion that he would become more a part of our family. Our counselor eyed me sideways and said she thinks God answered that prayer. This was definitely not the way I hoped to have that prayer answered.

    Your writing is lovely. Your open heart comes through clearly. Keep healing. Jules

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    1. Thank you, dear Jules. It is astounding now to realize how very alone I was for so long in the midst of the crowd. And there are so many of us, perhaps most of us, who live like this. I’m sorry that your life has included a Dday…and prayers that get answered in ways we may not understand…and I hope you keep reading and writing and feeling. HUGS.

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  9. I have a very strange relationship with God and prayer. Actually, considering CF’s family it is a wonder I have any relationship with God at all.

    Years ago I was a group leader for people whose spouses didn’t attend church with them. At the end of group we would have a group prayer. People could submit prayer requests and I would include all of them in the prayer. This was a pretty big deal for me because I didn’t usually pray out loud. One Sunday there were prayer requests for mice removal from a house, the weather, and healing for a man who was in the hospital with meningitis (it did not look good). When we got back together in 2 weeks the mice were gone, the weather had gone whatever way the person had wanted it to, and the man, miraculously, pulled through. I was all like, “I’ve got the gift of prayer!” But for some reason that never extended to my prayers. I couldn’t pray enough to heal my beloved Mamaw. After she died I kind of gave up on prayer.

    Fast forward to now… we are going back to church. My daughter loves it. My son tolerates it. I wrote a blog post about it. I offered up a very crappy prayer to get my support check and it came in the mail that day. So… what do I know?

    I will say I’ve always kept the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers” in the back of my mind. It helps. Maybe all of what we’re going through is part of an amazing plan on God’s part and unfortunately, the only way to get there is by going through Hell.

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