Saving a baby cow; losing a beloved sister

Last week we had storms on Monday – heavy rain with lots of thunder and lightening.

In the evening, during a break in the storm, I was out on our balcony and I noticed what looked like a cow laying down by the fence. It was hard to tell for sure as it was just a white spot, almost hidden by the weeds.

It wasn’t moving.

There were no other cows around but, sometimes, a single cow will stray away from the herd and, sometimes, they will be very quiet for long periods of time.

Then mon mari thought he saw it moving. It was getting dark, we try not to be the crazy neighbors that over-react to everything, so we left it for morning.

The next morning, when I was out walking the dogs, I saw that it was still there….

But it was moving a bit.

After I got back to the house I got the binoculars and saw that it was on the wrong side of the fence and didn’t seem to be able to move away. It would only stand up, then lie down. It was tucked into an area that was really only visible to us, and I still couldn’t tell how big it was.

I called our neighbor, who knows the farmer, and explained it all to him. He called the farmer and about half an hour later the farmer came to check it out.

It was a baby cow, a very young calf, probably only a few days old. It had rolled under the fence and couldn’t get back into the pasture.

The farmer got it back, the mama cow came running out of the barn and the calf ran up to greet her on very wobbly legs. The calf then fed for about 30 minutes….. Poor thing was obviously starving.

That was the last story I told my sister on Friday.

She always liked my stories…..

She’s been battling mesothelioma for the last three years. Her last reports from the docs had been good, but she got a cold that developed into breathing problems last week. She went into the hospital on Wednesday. When I talked to her Friday she was feeling great, she sounded great, and she was planning on going home the next day. I told her I’d call her at home on Monday.

I never got the chance.

Losing a sibling is hard….

One loses the past – who am I going to compare ‘mother stories’ with?

One loses the future – we were supposed to grow old together, wear purple clothes, red hats, and get into trouble.

One loses the present – she was the best shopper and kept me up-to-date on all the latest trends.

I miss her terribly….

My sister – the early years:


She was never quite sure what color her hair should be…..

The later years…

She and my sister-in-law came to visit us in 2006. We spent a few days in Paris, as well as touring the local sites. That’s the only time either one came to my side of the pond….


The last photo I took of her…..


Even when we know time is short, we still believe there’s going to be just enough more…..

And then there isn’t anymore.

41 thoughts on “Saving a baby cow; losing a beloved sister”

  1. Oh Kate I am so sorry for your loss. I do know how hard it is to lose a sibling, I lost my sister in 2009 and she was only 58 and my brother in 2013 at the age of 64, both of them lost their battle with cancer. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them and my mother, whom I lost in 2002. I will definitely keep your in my prayers for healing.

  2. So sorry for your loss Katie…I can not imagine…. (I have 6 siblings and we are not getting any younger!)
    Many blessings to you and your family in this time of sadness.

  3. Oh, Katie! I am so, so very sorry for your loss. Please know you and yours are in my prayers. I’d love to see some more pictures or a few stories when you’re ready. We’ll be here to listen. Huge hugs to you.

  4. My heart goes out to you as you adjust to the loss of your sister. I love the last photo of her especially. I can see that she was lively and fun, and had a good sense of humor.

  5. So, so very sorry. I am happy she came “to your side of the pond” at least once. It is so much better to visualize family once you have seen their home. Peace.

  6. A beautiful tribute, Katie. I lost my brother two years ago, and as with your sister, it was sudden and unexpected. It’s not easy. I will hold you in my thoughts. Again, I am so sorry. – Mimi

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. It must be so hard to loose a sister, it takes the ground beneath you away somehow. Sending you a big hug and strenght to cope with this. xxx

  8. Oh Katie, I am so sorry for your loss. Your sister sounds and looks like an amazing person to have shared so many years and memories with.

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