Thursday, June 29, 2006

Under Her Wing

Now I better understand the phrases “mother hen” and to “to take someone under your wing.” We stopped by the “nursery” mini-coops on the way to work this morning, and were greeted with some peeping and THIS:

Wow! (More pictures later if Blogger cooperates!)It happened sometime during the night or morning- actually quite a secretive event. We expected to be able to see shell bits or something, but she stayed snuggled down on top for the hatching. We’re eager to get back home tonight to check on the other hen- she was still sitting patiently when we left, but all eggs seemed viable at last check a few days ago.

This birth of new life was made more poignant later in the day, when the news came that my Grandma had passed away about at the same time the chicks were hatching. The cycle of transitions...She grew up with chickens, and was a great “mother hen” who cared for her own 9 chicks and 21 grand-chicks.

I’m the oldest of those 21, so I had lots of time to watch her in action. She was barely done having her own kids when I was born. My mother’s youngest brother was born when my mom was in college. Can you imagine having kids over a span of 20 years?!? Incredible. Thankfully that trend is fading, but I’m always amazed at the women who did it and survived!

I was able to visit her on Monday, and she was ready to go. We all got to say goodbye, and I believe she got to say goodbye to us, even if only with her eyes. She wasn’t talking much this past week, but had very expressive eyes. We will all miss her dearly (she was my last remaining grandparent) but she was looking forward to a reunion with her husband of 58 years who died 3 years ago.

I learned so much from my grandparents, humble people who only had an 8th grade education but a wealth of gardening and frugal kid-raising knowledge. All 9 kids went to college, turned out well, and the next generation is now in the process of graduating from college, etc too. There's even a third generation beginning.

If only we could all be so lucky: to live life fully and depart gracefully with loving, functional family at our sides. But if you’re a smoker, please also remember that you might get less of that life than your genes originally decreed.

More news on the chicks and other Frolic Farm happenings soon!


aleximac said...

You write beautifully, Gina! I know your grandma will be missed and I'm sorry to hear that she's gone. You have a good acceptance of those cycles and it's reassuring to think of "passing on" through the door. Less fear in it for those still here. Take care! Love those chicks, how exciting.. and the mama hen is such a good protector.

Deb said...

That was a beautiful tribute to your grandma. My condolences. But like you say, there are cycles of life and congrats on the chicks!

Liz said...

Sorry about your grandmother, Gina. She sounds a lot like mine... she may not have been well-schooled, but man, did she know a lot about a lot of things. It's nice that your grandmother was able to pass some of her knowledge on.
And as you said, the circle of life continues... would you look at those chicks! Congrats. :)