(These are NOT pictures of MY birds.)
It's a story that makes me get shivers and makes me smile at the same time- each and every time I think about it or tell it.
I have decide to share it with you on this very windy, Ohio Spring day, when the birds are struggling to hold tight to the branches outside my window. For those of you that live in the Northern states, like me....isn't it great to see the Robins back again?!
This story isn't about Robins though. It's a story about death.
Before you decide not to read it- let me assure you it is very inspiring beyond the death part. None of us likes death, I know.
First, you need to know that I took care of my mom through about 7 years of chemotherapy (and many surgeries). We lived together, along with my guy and eventually our first born, E., too. She died in 1995 after a long brave struggle to beat the cancer that started in her breast and spread immediately to her lung and then to her brain.
My mom always told me in the weeks before she died that she would fly to heaven on the wings of an every day bird. Not a fancy one.
She knew I loved birds as she did. She had grown up with pet Canaries.
I had grown up with many kinds of pet birds.
I have had Love Birds, Parakeets, Finches, Cockatiels, Parrots, Canaries.
I still keep pet birds.
Two weeks before mom died at home she started talking about wanting a Canary again. The visiting Hospice nurse knew someone that bred canaries and was able to get one for my mom.
That canary sat in that cage for 2 days and not one song came out of it's beak...not even an ugly squawk!
Mom died in her own bed with her Canary nearby, just like she had wanted it. I was at her side holding her hand and stroking her bald head (where in her youth she had naturally wavy strawberry auburn hair). Also at her side were- my guy, our little E. and my brother M.
And the bird sang.
The bird sang the most beautiful song.
Sweet and happy.
The bird would not stop singing!
I know this sounds absolutely crazy, but...I swear I saw her spirit lift away from her body while the little Canary
sang a beautiful song from within it's ordinary looking body.
Until that very moment, I had forgotten about what she had said=
"a bird, not fancy and heaven".
(I was also with my guy's mom, at a hospital in 1991, when she died of cancer a few months after we were married.
That was the first time I thought I saw a spirit lift away from a body.)