The Skinniest Duck

Our family just spent a week together in the Wisconsin Dells enjoying one another’s company, swimming, playing games, and having fun. One late afternoon I was out on the deck with our son, daughters, and grandchildren and the resident ducks waddled by.We found bread and began to feed them. Interestingly, even ducks can have a” bully personality!” Sure enough the bread the other ducks had seemed more enticing than the bread the ducks already had in their bills.

All of a sudden another duck joined the duck group. This duck’s feathers were matted and compared to all his comrades, who were nice and plump, this one looked thin and hung back from the others. He didn’t even seem to mind that the others were bickering over the bread. Soon, the ducks flew to another balcony leaving the skinniest one there. I said to our son Zac,” That guy must be the one the others pick on as he is a loner, thinner, and certainly less animated than the others. I began thinking is this how many of our loved ones felt when the decision was made to take his/her life?

Zac said, “Mom, your next blog has to be called the “Skinniest Duck.” So that is how this title came to be.

Here’s what we know- duck waited until all the other ducks had feasted on the bread then zeroed in. We know he stayed somewhat isolated from the other ducks, and we assume he was thinner than the others because he was less assertive and could even ascertain that his place in the “duck world” left him feeling helpless and hopeless.

What we don’t know is if this duck chose to wait until all the other ducks bickered and fought and then hoped to have what bread was left to enjoy without chaos. He seemed to be isolated but yet could he have been the leader and was allowing the flock to eat setting an example that he was patient and a good role model? He was much thinner and had matted feathers, but that might be explained because he worked harder and vanity was of little consequence for him?

There are always so many sides when we look at something as simple as my duck story. If there are so many questions and could of’s with this little tale how indeed, could we begin to even think we could understand the depth and despair of a human? So the endless hours of thinking, questioning, and trying to make sense is just a waste of the precious time we have. Life doesn’t give us “do overs.”

I don’t know why and I will never know why our son made the decision. Wherever his spirit is I hope he is accepted, fed with love and positive feelings, and has found the peace instead of the chaos in his life.

I shall continue missing my boy with all my heart and wish he had not made the decision he did. In the meantime, I shall love, play, and enjoy my own flock valuing the time we have. I know that is what our son would have wanted. I bet your loved one would wish that for you too!