Tenderness of birth and loss felt this month

On a Sunday afternoon drive a few weeks ago, Butch and I were able to witness the birth of a calf in a field on Highway 88.

Although I grew up in a rural section of a big city, there were no farm animals around just a lot of space between neighbors. My husband's grandfather was a farmer in North Carolina, and he spent many summers working side by side with his aunts and uncles cropping tobacco, tending corn, cotton and potatoes. They had a small herd of cattle, but he was never there during calving season so we were both excited.

The little one was the first to be born in this particular field, filled with other cows waiting to give birth to next year's steaks. We watched as the other cows kept a safe distance from the protective mother but kept an eye on the progress of his/her first steps. For about 40 minutes, we watched as the calf tried over and over again to steady his legs in an effort to stand. All the while, mom offered encouraging licks and nudges. Unfortunately her timing was a little off and just as he would almost get upright, she would give a comforting nuzzle and over he would go. You could feel the exhaustion of both; and finally mom decided to lie down, curling up beside her baby and licking it in the tenderest ways, seeming to offer comfort and support. The other cows never came closer than 50- to 75-feet and formed a loose semi-circle as they kept a close eye on their new family member. It was quite touching and heartwarming to witness.

Over the past couple of weeks the birth and tenderness we saw has been on my mind as our neighborhood and the entire community bid a sorrowful farewell to a very special mom, Connie Wennhold. While I wasn't in their circle of friends, I was honored to know her through the Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department wives group and functions. Her love and devotion to her sons, Adam and Aaron, as well as her husband, George, was evident to even casual acquaintances such as myself. Their accomplishments lifted her spirit and her dedication was felt by all who knew or met her. She has left a tremendous void in our midst.

Her special passion was the education system, including teachers, students and administrators, along with the Boy Scouts of America. The national average for scouts to make it to the rank of Eagle Scout is four percent. Connie's average for the many years she was a scout leader was an astounding 80 percent. In fact, four of the five boys in her very first scout troop made it to the rank of Eagle. That is a true testament to her love and devotion to the youth of Carson Valley. What an incredible gift she gave to those she touched in her short life that they will be able to carry on in her absence. A scholarship fund has been established at the Douglas High School in her name to continue her inspiration to our students. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact the school for the address and particulars. What a great way for us to remember and honor her legacy to the children of Douglas County.

-- To reach Gail Davis, e-mail RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com or call 265-1947.


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