Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lisanne, Guam, Bob, and Sophie

I want to tell you a story that illustrates why I love Lisanne so much. A couple of weeks ago a neighbor and I were cutting down a tree and we came across a squirrel’s nest. But not just the nest, there was a mommy squirrel and three itty, bitty, baby squirrels in there. They were so small that they didn’t have any fur and their eyes weren’t even open yet.

Well, when we cut into the hollow space where the nest was mommy squirrel got spooked and ran away (okay, “spooked” may be an understatement. She shot practically straight up into the air and literally flew past us – I never saw a squirrel move so fast). So I figured that I’d throw a tarp over the open nest to protect it and mommy would come back in a little while to move her babies. To tell the truth, I wasn’t so sure what mommy would do, and I didn’t really want anything to do with the squirrels, but it seemed too cruel to leave them there un protected with rain storms on the way. We get a lot of rain storms here.

Anyway, the next day, Lisanne was driving to school and noticed something on the grass. Mommy hadn’t come back, but one of the babies had fallen out of the nest and was lying in the grass. This was about a ten-foot fall, and I wasn’t to confident about his chances, but Lisanne asked me to bring all three squirrels inside and wrap them in a blanket. I have to admit, they all looked a little rough, cold, wet, and dehydrated. And so we became the proud parents of three bouncing squirrel babies.

We did some research on the web and found out that adapting orphan squirrels wasn’t so crazy as it seemed. Or, at least, that we weren’t the first to ever do so. We gave them a heating pad to keep them warm and Lisanne had to feed them with a dropper every couple of hours. With me getting ready to leave, a family to raise, and final exams just around the corner, Lisanne made room in her schedule and her heart. Eventually, they started to get bigger, and there really were kind of cute once their hair started to come in and they looked less like a naked mole rat. In fact, it was impossible not to fall in love with them. We named them Guam, Bob, and Sophie.

Unfortunately, first Guam, and then Bob passed on over the next several weeks. I don’t know what happened, as they seemed to be doing so well. They just seemed to get sick and started to have trouble breathing until they just stopped. Lisanne and Anaïs took their deaths pretty hard. They are buried on the side of the house. But the point of this whole thing is that Lisanne had the guts to try, to invest herself even when she knew the odds weren’t in her favor. I can still see her sitting there, feeding the babies by hand…. And I love her for it.

Lisanne, if you’re reading this, thank you for everything you’ve given me. You make me human. I love you.



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