It is late evening and I am back home after 3 days in Fort Lauderdale, getting ready to head out on another work-related trip tomorrow at lunch time. Behind me, out in the garden, sits an empty chicken coop. Earlier in the week, while we were gone, a coyote figured out how to breach the coop and killed our beautiful girls, Serafina, Sophie, Bitsy, Ivy and Lucy.
When I found out this morning, waiting to catch the flight back to Atlanta, it was hard to feel grief. Sherod and I had just dropped Maria back at her day program after an intense visit. She is in as safe and nurturing an environment as we could possibly hope for. While there have been setbacks since she returned to Ft Lauderdale, there have also been some gains. And it is equally true that each time I leave her, I feel like I am abandoning her again and it never gets easier. Now, the thought of those beautiful chickens being killed by the coyote weighs heavy. All this and tomorrow it is 4 years since the bleak evening in Panama, the last one I got to spend with my mom. On a night like tonight, I am grateful for the words of others:
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. 1928 Book of Common Prayer