A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Momma

Today would be her 77th birthday. But, she's not here to share it with, and I miss her every day.

I was raised by my mom to believe that when you die, you are gone. Dead. Finito. Nothing but bones, or, in her case ash. I was raised to believe you stay that way until the return of christ when you then head up to heaven (as long as you have given your life over to the Lord). There are no spirits, no ghosts. That's what I was raised to believe.

To tell you the truth, I really don't know what I believe in regards to this anymore. I like to believe she's still watching me, hopefully she's still proud of me.

I actually have this thought that some part of her is off flitting about from bird to bird. My momma loved birds. Her whole life. When she was a little girl in school, she was able to mimic bird songs. So well in fact, that she got into trouble once when a little bird sat just outside the window of her one room school house singing away. The teacher accused mom of trying to disturb the class.

Later in life, we had birds as pets. Parakeets, Cockatiels, a silly African Gray parrot. Mom loved painting as well. She painted clock faces, and recipe boxes. Her favorite decorations were hummingbirds and owls and little orioles. She was always singing and had a beautiful soprano lilt. My own momma bird.

So, when she passed from this life to the next, I've found times where I felt the birds were giving me messages, where I felt the connection with her because of them. The morning after I received the call that she was no longer with me, I was vacationing at a Lake in California. I went outside that morning and the glorious birdsong at 5 am caressed me and held me embraced in song. It filled my broken heart with love and I knew she was okay. She was comforting me still.

Later that year, my husband was watching a movie at midnight. It was Hellraiser. My mother would absolutely hate that movie. She hated anything to do with satan and his evil influence. A bird outside our bedroom window went absolutely beserk, screeching and causing a huge ruckus. I told my husband jokingly that my mom didn't like what he was watching and he should change the channel. He turned the movie off and the bird was immediately silent. Crap. I had just been kidding, but maybe there was some truth to it?

When my mom's brother passed away, a couple years after mom, another incident occurred that got me to wondering. I live on a bluff above a river. Behind my house is a state park, lots of birds. Pigeons, owls, blue birds, finches, woodpeckers, turkey vultures, wild turkeys...all manner of fowl. The day after his passing, I was thinking about him and my mom, and wondering if they were together again. I looked up and saw a white dove sitting on my fence. I had never seen doves nor have I ever seen once since. It cocked its head at me and I just knew. It was all good.

Today, another little confirmation to me that my momma is still hanging about, keeping an eye on me. I was sitting outside just thinking about her, thinking about how lucky I was to have had such a wonderful woman as my mom. I heard a tapping sound. I ignored it. I heard it again. I looked up to see a blue bird tapping my wood fence. I didn't rise, I didn't move, I just looked at it. As soon as I had silently acknowledged it, it took off. I totally felt like she's said, yup, thanks for thinking about me kid, I'm all right, see I'm free. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I've never seen any bird do that on my fence before. Not even a woodpecker.

Honestly, I realize these are just odd little coincidences. But, I love to think that she's still about, keeping an eye on us. Following our lives and watching her grandbabies grow. It helps me keep the connection with her, keep her spirit alive. So, I'm going to go get the expensive gourmet bird food that I buy just for her and fill my feeder in her honor. My little birthday gift to my very wonderful momma.

I love you mom.


  1. This is a beautiful post, Millie--a lovely tribute to your mom. It is hard to grapple with our emotions and beliefs after our parents pass. I'm glad you find comfort in the snogs of the birds your mother so loved. :-)

    1. Most people adore their momma's and think they are special. I am right in there with them. My mom was a saint, the biggest heart in the world. I can only hope that my heart is half as big as hers, and that I raise my children with half as much care as she instilled in all of us.