Day 13 – Trauma while Gardening

April 5th 2020

I woke up and had a Zoom call with a few of my beautiful family members on my mom’s side. There were kids, and babies on the call as well and it was nice to see the faces of some of the most important women in my life. We exchanged quarantine stories, and shared what books we’re all currently reading, and even suggested binge-worthy shows to keep the time going.

I didn’t have champagne, but my husband made me a beer-mosa and a giant breakfast with eggs and hash browns, and then even brought it to me while I was on my call!

It was a glorious sunny day waiting for me to put on my gloves and take on that front garden bed.

After breakfast I was eager to get started. I went to the garage and gathered all my tools and had my earbuds in to block out distractions. I started the same way I did the other bed, and was raking all the random items into a corner. Then I took down the brick wall but this time the bottom layer was embedded in the ground. I would need either some different tools, or another person who might have just a bit more strength than I do.

As I was raking I remembered that their was really great soil in the backyard in some of the garden beds I had allowed to overflow with grass and other compost dumpings. I knew that if I were to get the grass and compost tilled I would have luscious soil for new flowers in the front.

The neighbors were out on both sides and were doing their own yard work while the sun was still beaming full blast. I waived since I had my headphones in but went straight to work on digging up my treasured dirt. I was going pretty hard for a solid 10 minutes that my FitBit tracked a sporting activity workout!

I was tilling so hard when I thought I heard something so I stopped. I looked around but didn’t see anything so I went back at it and tilled harder. The next thing that happened I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from…

I heard the tiniest, high pitched screams over my audio book. I instantly dropped my gardening tool and looked at the ground. There was a baby bunny that I had pierced through his belly with the spear of the garden till, and another baby bunny whose little behind I had scrapped as well.

I went into shock. I didn’t know what to do. My neighbor looked at me and told me it was going to be okay and it happens to a lot of people because rabbits dig into the ground and nest in places where they aren’t seen.

I went inside and grabbed my husband to help me since I was so terrified I had killed the bunnies. He wasn’t sure what to do because I was just screaming constantly about bunnies and he had to come outside right away but leave the dogs inside.

He helped me assess the damage to each bunny, and one of them was not good. He helped me look around the garden because I told him I had seen more bunnies run away, but we only found 1 more. Luckily he was unharmed. My husband told me to just leave them be and the mom would be back tonight, but that is not who I am. I had to do something to help the little critters survive.

My neighbor kept calling different humane societies and wildlife services but wasn’t able to get in contact with anyone, but she did text me the link to call when I had time.

I went inside and made a bowl of soapy water, grabbed some medical tape, and gloves, and went to wash the bunnies. I took each one in my hand and lightly suds their little bodies and cleaning off any blood and dirt in their fur. Then I wrapped up one of the bunnies in medical tape to help with the severity of his gouge. I put them back in their little nest and put a little wooden house over them to keep them from trying to jump around, and then left them to go sit on the front porch.

I cried so hard. I couldn’t stop crying. How had I done such a thing? I am a crazy animal lover, and deep advocate for natural wildlife and preserving it. How could this have happened? I should have noticed the rabbit fur in the garden bed, I should have assessed the area before tilling, I should have not gone so gun-ho on getting the fresh soil underneath.

I called the Humane Society and as the tears continued to roll down my cheeks, I told myself I wouldn’t hangup until I was able to talk to a person, or leave a desperate voicemail. I was on the phone listening to multiple prompts for about 15 minutes. I finally was able to leave a message. I hung up the phone and sat on the front stoop and continued to cry. I eventually went in the house, and was greeted by my husband, who then hugged me and allowed me to sob in his arms on dampen his shirt with my tears.

The humane society had called back and asked different questions about the damages, and how many bunnies, and if this was the first occurrence, etc. The request was that I put the bunnies in a cardboard box with holes, and bring them to the humane society. I would arrive at the door, ring the bell, and then leave the box to make sure there was no human contact.

I immediately grabbed a cardboard box, put a nice little cushion in the bottom, bunched up my Planned Parenthood bandana, and nestled the bunnies in the box together. I kissed my husband goodbye as I headed out to the humane society on my own.

I cried the entire way there. I was sad to let them go. I wanted to know if they were going to make it or not. I wrote a note on top of the box and asked them to call me for updates on the bunnies. I arrived at the Humane Society and said my goodbyes to Roscoe, Rocky, and Redneck. (all R’s for Rabbits). I put a $10 in the box, and rang the bell. The woman was so thoughtful and very soothing in assuring me that they’d give the best care to the bunnies. She also said she’d make a note to call me for any updates once they had a definite answer on what will happen next.

I sat in my car and cried. I knew there was only 1 person in the entire world who would help me feel better about this.

My twin.

I drove to her house (I tried calling her, but no answer) and I figured if she was home I would be able to cry (6 ft away) and she would help relieve my sadness, or if she wasn’t home I would sit in her driveway crying until she did arrive home.

When I pulled in the driveway my twin and her boyfriend (and his parents) were all outside having a beer! YAY! I got up to the gate and told her what happened and I just broke down. I told her that I couldn’t believe that all went down, and I’m a terrible person for not paying attention, and I’m going to donate all my money to the humane society to help all the wildlife.

My twin was so sweet – she continued to console me, and remind me that I wouldn’t have known, and that it happens all too often with bunnies because they dig in gardens, or even lawns and often times get run over by mowers. She truly eased my heart of the heaviness and told me she wished she could give me a hug and reminded me that I am a true animal lover, and just because an unfortunate situation happened that was a complete accident, doesn’t change that about me.

I wiped away yet some more tears as I said my goodbyes and went back to my car to go home. I texted my husband and told him where I was, and if he could make me a bloody for when I arrived home. He said he would be more than happy to do that for me.

When I got home my amazing husband had a bloody mary waiting for me – and he even put bacon in it! We went outside and played catch phrase with each other while sipping our beverages. We got a little rowdy at times! Then we decided to do a social distancing round with our neighbors. Girls versus guys of course!

We played a solid hour and did a best 2 out of 3. During the game I went to check on the bunny area and noticed another little bunny was laying in the nest. I took the advice of the humane society and took 2 crossing sticks and placed them over the hole to see if the mother would visit during the night.

After a fun night of cheering me up, we went inside to relax and have some dinner before turning in to bed.

Have you ever been in a situation that was a complete accident but you felt terrible for it happening at all and took blame on yourself? Do you have a person in your life that you can 100% depend on? Where are all the other bunnies!?

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