For Better or For Worse: Dear Sylvester’s Mom

Dear Mrs. Duck,

I am writing to you because I would like you to know that your duckling, the one who fell behind when you were swimming, did not drown all alone in dow’s lake. My mother went back and found him, slowly sinking into the water. When the man whom she asked to call the bird care center refused, my mom knelt by the water an hoped that he would simply, well… float over, and, wonder of wonders, he did! My mom scooped him out and gently cradled him in her hands all the way back to our home. When I got home, there he was, sitting in his water dish. We named him Sylvester, after a duckling that lived in my mom’s classroom when she was small. We each took a turn carefully holding him in our hands. Sylvester was so soft! When my dad got home, he took Sylvester to the bird care center, there, they found that his mouth was full of blood. Immediately, they stopped examining him and gave him some medicine to make him more comfortable. That night comfortable, loved and surrounded with other ducks, geese and all sorts of other birds, he quietly passed away. We all cried upon hearing this news. Anyways, I just really thought that you would like to know that your duckling enjoyed his final hours and that his life, though short, had an effect on many people. I’m sure that you are very proud of him.

Also, thank you very much for taking such good care of him while you could and for calling back for him. If you had not done that I think that he would have died all alone and his little life would not have been noticed. At least this way he knew that he was loved very much, not only by you but by my family and everyone who hears this story, Sylvester’s story. I will never forget about your little duck that little trooper, Sylvester.

Sincerely, your friend,


On Happy Endings

Towards the end of my treatment, last year, we rescued Sylvester. A sweet little abandoned duckling. He died the next day.

And our hearts all broke.

Last week, Lucy and Bayla were honoured with the opportunity to help nurture Bernadette. A sweet tiny abandoned kitten. She too passed away.

Our heart break was worse yet.

Lucy and Bayla have had to grow up fast. They’ve heard more than their share of sad stories. And, thanks to our history, the sad ones hit hard.

Will they keep risking compassion?

I hope so.

Time to re-read Tuck…

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.…”

“You can’t have living without dying. So you can’t call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.”
Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

From the Mouth of Bayla #24 : someone else

Today, mom and I went on a walk to Dow’s Lake. We also went to see Sylvester’s family .

They are doing really well!

His sibling (who was also in the accident) is adapting to his new way of walking and swimming.

While we were watching, a man came on a bike with a little bag. He took his bag off his bike, opened his bag and took out a small sack of seeds. He started to tell us about  his job (wild animal care) and we started to tell him about Sylvester. Meanwhile, he was taking out handfuls of seeds.

It’s really nice to know someone who goes to Dow’s Lake two times a day to take care of a duck and his family.

Dad and daughters weekend

I can’t remember the last time Andrea went away for the weekend which means her getaway to Toronto is long overdue. It’s just Lucy, Bayla and me. There’s lots of fun things to do this weekend. However, like most weekends in our house, they have accumulated a mess that needs to be cleaned up before anything else can happen. I’m really hoping they can tackle the backlog tonight so we can enjoy the rest of the weekend with no pressure.

By the way, we pulled together a short video about Sylvester last night. Here it is.

From the Mouth of Bayla # 22 : One less family member

I know that it sounds like a human in our family died but sad to say ;it was Sylvester. He died yesterday night after he had been given medicine. I was so happy when we had saved him and we were all convinced he would NOT die but we were wrong. Now were all crying. Sylvester I just wanted to let you know I love you, we ALL love you. Sylvester, we will always love and remember you, Sylvester there will NEVER be a duck like you. All our love, Bayla, Lucy, Andrea & Mark. 🙂

Our Little Duck Died

Our beautiful little duckling has died.

During his examination at the Wild Bird Care Centre last night, it became obvious he was injured beyond repair (he was likely hit by a bike).

The caregivers aborted the exam. They gave him medication to ease his pain.

He died overnight.

Poor sweet little thing.

It’s hard to know if I did the right thing.

From the Mouth of Bayla #21: a new pet

Plop! A poor little duckling keels over in the water, he is starting to sink, little by little. Mom, wishing, that duckling could come to the shore, somehow. Whoosh. the current pushes the poor duck to the shore. Mom picked him up and brought him home!!!!! Then mom picked us up from school and told us that we had an adventure and she told us that “I’ll only tell you if we don’t get to the house in time.” So we got to the house and little Sylvester was sitting in his water dish.