When I contemplated writing this blog entry today, I thought about the question of how detailed did I want to make it? The whole entry could be simply put
It's a girl!
However, there is so much more detail surrounding this entry, that I scarcely know where to start. I guess I will start with Butter Cupp as the whole story, in one way or another, revolves around her. Or maybe I need to go back even further to Nelly because that is where the story actually begins.
Nelly was a young heifer and I had just recently put her in with Peanut, our young bull to be bred. I advertised her on Craig's List and a lady responded to the ad wanting to know if she and her husband could stop by here on their way home from vacation, as they lived near D.C. and were passing through our area. We arranged a time and she and her husband stopped, visited a while and put a down payment on Nelly. I explained to them at the time, that Nelly was very "green" and seemed to have some temperament issues that I just was not sure that she would overcome, but promised them I would let them know in a few weeks what I honestly felt about the match. Before the couple left, I told them that I had recently lost my son. I remember the lady hugging me. I remember the sincerity with which she and her husband promised to remember me in prayer. Those days so recently after Josh's death were such a blur in my mind as I was still in shock.
After trying to work with Nelly some, I really felt uneasy about her being paired with a beginner who had no experience with large animals. I wrote the lady an email and told her that the decision was hers but I would refund their money if they decided not to get Nelly or I would offer them Butter. Butter was an older, experienced cow and I knew would do well for her. However, shortly after that, I woke up one morning to find Butter on the ground and unable to get up. You can read about that terrible week here.
After that week, I just could not in good conscience sell Butter without revealing to the nice couple all that had happened and giving them the opportunity to have their deposit refunded. After some serious thought, the couple decided that Butter would not be the best choice for them. They also found a dairy closer to home where they would be able to buy some young heifers of their own.
I was so confused at that time wondering why Butter had become ill or injured (as well as her herd-mate Maya who had become ill at the same time with different symptoms). We had always had a healthy herd and had no problems before. My two girls dropped weight and began to look like skeletons. The vets we had out ran blood tests and could find nothing wrong with them. So, we began a regimen of trying to feed them well and get weight back on them.
During this time of caring for Butter in such an intimate way, she and I became very bonded. She trusted me and I really fell in love with her. Imagine how thrilled I was when I had the vet out one day and he palpated her and said that she was indeed pregnant. She had not been with a bull since before her "down" period. It was a miracle that she had not slipped the calf during the whole ordeal.
Over the months since that time in the fall of last year, the lady who came to look at Nelly and then "bought" Butter have become very close friends. She is so very dear to me and we email frequently. Often, our talk is about cows but many times it is much more than that. She has never ceased to amaze me at how she knows exactly when to remind me that she is praying for me. Even though it did not work out for her to buy a cow from me, the cows are what brought us together on that day last fall and I have no doubt our friendship will never end.
Now fast forward to this week. For some reason, I have had a really hard time and have struggled with being really down. I think, it is probably because I am fast approaching the one year anniversary of Josh's death. As the seasons change, we will enter fall. What was always the favorite season for both Josh and myself, will now hold new challenges for me. As much as I try to focus on the beauty of the years that I got to spend with Josh, my loss sometimes overwhelms me.
Anyone who frequents this blog knows that rain reminds me of my son and for the last two evenings, as the night has come closing in, there has been an evening shower and then a beautiful rainbow at the end of it. Last night I saw the rainbow for the second night in a row and later as I stood outside in the dusk of the evening with my cows and allowed the big tears to finally come streaming down my face, I began to sob and asked God to please, please give me something to hold onto and something to encourage me because I was sad. It was then that I had the thought that the rainbows in the sky had been from God.
Later, I received a message from two different people about rainbows. One lady wrote and said that her young daughter always called the rainbow "God's Promise" and the other message came from my friend, Diane, the lady I told you about above that was going to buy Butter from me. The message is posted on this blog under the picture of the rainbow and simply states "His Promise".
As I stood and contemplated "His Promise" last night, the thought came to me that if Butter calved and it was a heifer, I would name it "Promise". My little "Promise" would be God's gift to me to help encourage me through this rough time I was having.
And today, shortly after noon, I was present as my Miracle cow who was never expected to survive gave birth to her heifer calf. (Anyone who reads my blog knows that heifer calves are rare on this farm as we usually get bull calves.) Her official name on her registration as a percentage cow with AMJA will be PeanutButter Cupp as her father is Peanut and her mother is Butter Cupp. However, that will not be the common name that I call her. Rather, she will always be my "Promise".
To make a beautiful day even more special, would you believe that as I was milking this evening that I looked out the door and a gentle rain was falling. Yet, I noticed the sun was shining. I stepped away from the cow I was milking and looked up into the sky and there, for the third day in a row, was my rainbow...............................His Promise.
Genesis 9:13 (The Message)
12-16 God continued, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth."