Saw a bunny hopping this morning on the way to the office.
I used to have a bunny.
A family friend gave me one when I was about 8-10 years old.
Beautiful snow white bunny with a black eye.
Daddy built a cage for me, and I was told "as long as you are responsible and care for this bunny, you can keep it".
Being an only child at home (brothers and sisters were grown by this time), and living far out in the country, this bunny quickly became my best friend.
Morning, evening and night I made sure it had plenty of love and attention, kept the cage sparkling, fresh water, plenty of food and fresh grass, and ALWAYS made sure the door was not only shut, but locked as well.
Home from school one afternoon, run to tell my best friend about my day - - door is open, bunny is no where to be found. A storm of tears ensued.
Momma said, "Daddy told you that you had to be responsible and keep that door shut."
For months afterwards I was riddled by guilt, that I had not done what I should I have done. I missed my best friend, and I was tormented by thoughts that something bad had happened to it.
Finally, Momma told me what really happened.
Daddy thought I was spending too much time with it, too attached to an animal. He told Momma that morning to kill it, cook it, and let me take the blame for not being responsible.
I have thought about it all this morning, in the back of mind as other day tasks have required my attention.
I know that moments like this shaped me into the person I am now. My opinion, however? There were better ways to teach a life lesson. Better and less harsh.
Perhaps he was doing what he thought was right at the time. Or was he just being jealous and controlling? Even time won't answer those questions.
**It did make me very aware and alert of my surroundings, and my responsibilities. Perhaps overly.
Even now, over 45 years later, I find myself checking doors shut and locked over and over ... and yes, over and over yet again.
**It also made me "own up" to my mistakes ... and defend myself when I didn't do one thing wrong.
As Rick always said, "I will take an ass-chewing for something I did ... but Oh HELL NO if I am innocent."
Let blame lie where it is.
**Another thing it did to me, was to make sure someone was at fault before accusing them.
I am sure that my kids got tired of Momma talking so much - "Just go ahead and whip me, or ground me, or whatever" is most likely their thoughts in those times. But I never wanted to punish both when only one was guilty ... or perhaps it was someone who had been in our home and left, so neither of the kids had done anything wrong. I would rather talk it out - troubleshoot, if you will - until I get to the bottom of it, at the risk of annoying or aggravating whoever is involved.
I miss my bunny.
I remember how soft he was, how his ears would twitch when I talked.
With those big ears, he could sure listen to a little girl's heart and thoughts.
Yes, I miss my bunny.
Rick knew this story ... perhaps that is why he so often bought me a stuffed bunny.
He would bring one in and say so sweetly, "Honey, here is a bunny for your oofies. I love you."
(("Oofie" was a word we used to explain when you aren't sad, or mad, not really even discouraged, not depressed ... just not yourself, tho. Can't quite put a finger on what is wrong."
Thank you Rick. I love you.