A couple of years ago, I saw something in nature that gave me a new perspective on life and death; on caregiving.

It was Day 12 of my husband’s fight for life. I was en route to the hospital where he was battling Covid Pneumonia – a long, battle with many ups and downs. His recovery was sometimes in question.

That morning as I drove, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A doe stood like a statue in a pasture not far from the busy highway, watching me as I passed. It’s unusual to see a deer in broad daylight. There was no creek meandering nearby to offer an easy escape. Interesting, I thought.

Then I saw another deer lying near the feet of that stalwart guardian. Her head was erect but she was looking in the opposite direction toward the safety of the woods a half mile away as if that’s where she longed to be. Neither one flinched as I drove by. 

I considered turning around to capture the moment digitally but chose not to interrupt the scene. I didn’t want to startle the guardian from her noble post, nor did I want to disturb the reclining doe in case it was in distress.

It’s common in our flyover state to see lifeless deer along the highway. Deer are no match for vehicles traveling at 55 MPH. Most of these accidents end the life of a graceful, beautiful creature. I assumed another vehicle-deer encounter left one deer dazed – possibly wounded – and another one to bravely stand guard. The forward movement of the injured deer propelled it to the safety of a pasture before collapse was inevitable yet her friend never left her side. What a powerful and vivid memory.

That evening, my trip home found me on that same highway, and I hoped I wouldn’t see that sight again. I wanted to see an open pasture, grasses moving silently in the breeze but no deer. My hope was the guardian watched while the wounded rested, then they ran off together to frolic in the woods. Wishful thinking, I know. But…

…Praise the Lord – I saw no deer! One very lucky deer had more life ahead. I was relieved.

My thoughts quickly returned to my husband, resting in that nearby hospital. There were days we didn’t know if he would live to see another day. Faithful caregivers stood beside him as he regained strength. Doctors. Nurses. Physical Therapists. And, me!

Boldly and bravely, we waited alongside. Praise the Lord, today my dear husband celebrates another birthday.

I’m so thankful.

I wonder…do deer pray?

I know I did.


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