Raised in the esoteric eighties like me? Did you ever watch that insanely depressing movie, Project X? The Air Force uses monkey’s to test how much radiation they can handle.
I saw it when I was around 9 or 10. I was at a daycare facility during the summer where they showed a group of 50ish kids this film.
This is what happened… I started crying. Then I started balling. Then I started convulsing. Then I threw up. Then they cleaned me up and put me back out in front of the movie. I started crying hysterically to the point of screaming. I lye on the floor -in a ball- choking away snot.
After the film ended, I continued to cry, so they took me to a small room by myself hoping I’d get over it.
After 4 hours of rocking on the floor asking “why? Why? Why?” my eyes were just about swollen shut and they FINALLY called my Ma to come get me.
(Seriously. I’m not even kidding. This story is all ready written for my memoir)!
Fast forward about 25 years…
My lovely husband & adorable son thought it would be a “wonderful” Mothers Day gift to take me to see Disney’s recent African Cats.
NOT. SO. MUCH.
You know, I could handle March of the Penguins, though I was sad. I could handle Disney’s Oceans, though I cried.
This, my tweeps, was too much for me.
I started crying pretty hard when I watched poor Mama Seida being attacked by three giant Lions while she tried to protect her Cheetah cubs, but then I lost it when two of Seida’s cubs got eaten by Hyena’s.
After the chief Lioness, almost lost her daughter and her life fighting this selfish band of brothers (Kalli & his crew) I LOST. IT.
And when I say, “I lost it,” I mean I was pretty much hysterical and Dave was pushing me out of the theatre because I was bordering on erupting.
It’s a terrible, terrible thang, y’all to watch a mother unable to protect her babies.
SO WHAT if it’s a human mother or a Cheetah mother or a Lion mother!
We are all still mothers, and like-it-or-not, I empathized to the furthest unhealthy extreme.
(Remember, I’m the one who cried for four hours over a fictional movie about monkey’s being tested for radiation).
The back story in gist:
As a kid, I coped with severe trauma by putting all of my helpless vulnerability onto animals. When they hurt, I hurt.
My friend York basically forced me to get therapy regarding this issue when at a conference back in 2001, I started crying hysterically –yes, again!– when I found an abandoned infant squirrel being eaten alive by bees.
The infant squirrel was about this big —-> <——–
Eyes sealed shut.
Teeny-tiny little set of lungs breathing in and out as bees stung it.
Yeah, so I cried for like 8 hours.
(Dave was pretty worried about me)
York made fun of me.
(He, unhelpfully offered to “put it out of it’s misery,” by rolling over it with his rollerblades. In the end, we decided to drown it, but not before I carried it around with me in a large leaf for 3 hours).
I got counseling.
I’m better now.
But sometimes I relapse.
Like when Cheetah Mama’s cubs are split and eaten by nasty hyena’s.
Anyhey, after the film we went to the park where I –shockingly– ran into a really helpless Mama raccoon in labor in the middle of a road at a city park.
She was ever so desperate.
I fed her about a 1/2 of a water bottle & prayed over her while Dave took the kids and walked around.
I almost couldn’t pull away.
Her eyes were screaming, “help me!”
I guess I have to admit, I wanted to stay with her until she gave birth because it became pretty obvious she couldn’t use her legs and get herself out of the road. A bunch of us were wondering if she fell out of a tree and broke her legs.
After an hour or so, we prayed again and I left.
I thought about her all night & prayed intermittently.
I thought about Seida and her dead cubs.
I thought about a friend of mine who recently had a miscarriage.
I thought about my own miscarriage back in ’05.
Now that I’m a little older and “all better,” I try to think deeply about what I’m really grieving.
This morning when we visited our little preggo racoon Mama she was gone. I’m hoping Animal Services finally came and took her. Ransom –like Mama– was very concerned for her, asking if God took care of her or not.
I told him the conclusions I’ve come to over the last 24 hours…
1) God has allowed consequences to play out in the world, which means animals die in labor, and get run over by cars, and are hunted by humans and other animals alike. And of course, we humans have really jacked things up for ourselves as well.
2) As the Bible says, the whole Earth is groaning for God to redeem it all. (Something, Dave & I believe will happen eventually, not in “rapture” form per se, but we believe God will redeem all living things, and every nook and cranny of the Earth as well. In the meantime, we are charged to care for one another, all living creatures and Mama Earth as best we can).
3) It wasn’t meant to be this way. God says in the Bible that one day the “Lion will lie down with the lamb.” Which means to me, that one day animals won’t hunt one another. There will be peace and reconciliation between all animals, between all animals and all people, between all people and the Earth & between the Earth and all people and all animals. It’s a concept we often refer to in InterVarsity as “Shalom.” It’s the reason I’d like to name our future daughter, Shalom. (That is, IF God gives us a biological or adopted daughter).
When I explained this to Ransom he responded like most 5 year old boys: “oh, okay.”
How was your Mother’s Day?
In all actuality, I ended up having such a wonderful relaxing day today (the Mama drama was yesterday)! =)
Later on I’d love to share how my week up North went. It was a bit too good to be true, actually.
Not exactly the sugary sweet Mother’s Day post, but here here to all the Mama’s, even the Cheetah & Racoon ones…