It happened.

The dreaded day arrived.

I was in the grocery store check out line yesterday trying to put together a healthy eating plan for my family.  Boot camp not only came with an exercise regimen, it also came with an eating schedule.  This overwhelms me but is a goal I have had for a long time, so I am grateful for the challenge.  I started putting all the vegetables, fruits, and whole grains up on the conveyor belt and was zoning out to the rhythmic beeping when I got the call.  

Whitney was on the other end crying.  I couldn’t tell what she was saying but I could tell something had happened and I was immediately on high alert, the kind where your heart skips a beat.  Thoughts flashed through my mind as I tried to guess what was wrong.  All I could think was “HURRY and tell me what happened!” 

 I finally understood what she was saying and made out the words “Floppy died!  Mom, he was shaking in my arms and I couldn’t help him!  I tried to give him water but he died in my arms!”  I felt so bad and told her I would be there as soon as I was finished buying the food.  

When I got home there were a house full of tears.  I couldn’t help but flash back to Jon’s warning on Easter that this would happen.  He had raised rabbits as a child and knew how easy it can happen.  I was already defensive in my mind.  The bunnies had water, food, and were in the shade but I guess it wasn’t enough.  We had our second day in the 80’s and I guess poor Floppy couldn’t handle it.  I knew I had to be the strong one even though it was sad.  I was mostly sad to see all of my girls face death for the first time and the emotions that it brings. 

 The loss.  

The sadness.

I walked over to the cage and had to pet Floppy’s fur one last time while he was still warm and furry.  I cried for a minute and felt sorry for my lack of care.  How could this happen?  I thought I followed all the rules unlike the first time I killed 2 bunnies when we were first married.  That was blatantly my fault. It was very hot and I hadn’t watered them.  I had to own it.  I was a rabbit killer!  There will be a room full of animals, plants, and bugs that will have a thing or two to say to me on the other side!

I spent hours trying to calm down the girls and decided to bribe them with ice cream because Amy was there offering to take them.  Sweet Amy that showed up at just the right time to comfort them while I was at the grocery store.  Ice cream always helps right?  The tears subsided for a minute and then came back even worse at the mention of Floppy.

At first I was patient.

Then I started to get frustrated.

“Girls, everything will be OK.  Floppy is in heaven and happier than he has ever been!” How do you explain heaven to a child?  One of them questioned heaven and how I even knew it was there.  I told her that it has taken me a lifetime to know this for myself and she would too someday.  She wanted proof, I didn’t have it.  I tried to explain that I felt the spirit tell me it was true when I read it in the scriptures, but I don’t think this cuts it for a child.  Children want proof, for that matter adults want proof also.  

I guess that is where faith comes into play.  Faith.  A single word that means so much.  A word that can decide how our whole life will play out.  If we decide to have faith and live *without proof* we can be extremely happy and trust that there is more than we can explain regardless of our temporal loss.  Isn’t that the ultimate test?  Enduring to the end with faith.  Those who choose to live without faith can be nothing but miserable.  If we have nothing to work for, nothing to rely on…what else is there?  Despair and depression is what results, for me anyway.  I vacillate between the two and know how it feels to entertain both thought processes.  

I for one choose to have faith.  I know that I don’t know everything and that is comforting in and of itself.  When I pretend to be all knowing, answers stop coming.  Why would Heavenly Father try and answer our prayers if we know it all?  We have to be humble and submissive, as a child.  

When Jon came home,  all he could do was laugh.  He wasn’t laughing at me, but was laughing at the situation and the room full of sobbing girls.  He pulled it together before he approached them and loved them up.  Hugs all around and he helped me tuck them into bed.  He finished up as I crawled into bed after a long day.  I was half asleep and vaguely remember him waking me every few minutes to show me a new bunny online and beautiful cages to help keep them safe.  I giggled and dozed between every waking.  What a husband…so supportive and kind.  

I didn’t mean this post to be so serious…I was actually going for funny but that isn’t the direction it went. You wouldn’t believe…or at least I don’t still, that just as I finished writing the advise to myself on faith, I got a text that turned my life upside down once again.  Nothing that is blogable..but another roller coaster ride non the less.  As I sit and cry typing these last words, I pray that I can have faith to ride the roller coaster of life.  

A prayer answered through my own words.  Who would have thought that would ever happen.  I needed my own words today.  I needed my own inspiration.  Thank you Heavenly Father for allowing this to happen.  

Another day, another lesson learned through and unlikely angel, Floppy.

β€œTo love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

 C.S. Lewis

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