November 30, 2012

Three Little Birds

             Last summer, we were surprised to find a couple of very odd birds hanging out right by our driveway.  Every time somebody would walk by them on the sidewalk, the birds would run away and act as though their wings were broken.  After a bit of research, we realized that these birds were called Killdeer, and they use this act to entice you away from their eggs.  These birds will put on a crazy show to get the predator away from their nest.  If only they were smart enough to not lay their eggs in such a vulnerable spot. Like the middle of our parkway.
                Our kids became attached the birds quickly, and named them Popcorn and Polly.  We would watch out the window as the birds would take turns keeping their eggs warm.  At one point we watched as one sat in the hail and rain to protect the eggs.  It was quite the show of parenthood that left me impressed, and wanting to somehow build a shelter to protect them even more.  Of course, we could only sit back and watch nature take its course.
                Over the period of about a month we kept a watchful eye on the Killdeer’s four little eggs, and we anticipated the day when they would finally hatch. Unfortunately, the day came when we found the eggs destroyed and the parents screeching over the loss of their babies.  It was a moment that I won’t soon forget. With each screech I wanted to somehow convey to the little Killdeer birds that I knew their pain. That I know what it’s like to lose a child, but of course it is silly to try and tell that to a bird.
                With that experience not far from my mind, I was a bit disappointed when this spring we found a Robin’s nest in our hanging planter by our front door.  I couldn’t even fathom having to go through that experience again, and hoped beyond all hopes that these little birdies would make it.  One of the major worries was that this particular hanging planter would typically fall if the wind blew too hard. With each storm we would watch with worry as the planter would sway back and forth, but would somehow hold strong. Finally, one day those little eggs hatched, and not long after that we could see the babies’ heads poking out on top of the nest.
                Several weeks later we came home from a vacation to find the babies perched on the top of their nest.  They stretched their wings, and looked around nervously. Finally, they were startled and jumped out of the only place they had ever known.  They hopped and flew, hopped and flew until  they got the hang of it. At that moment, we knew that at least for now, they had made it.  We knew that even though sometimes things don’t work out the first time, there is always hope for the second time.   We learned that with those bad things, hope can show up unexpectedly.  It can even show up on your doorstep.

November 29, 2012

The Third Christmas

Dear Carter Jay,
It seems as though the days are just flying by!  Your brother and sister are growing so fast, and with each and every day that goes by, I realize that it makes it that much longer since I last held you in my arms.
It occurred to me today that this is the third Christmas without you.
It  occurred to me that it seem so, SO unfair that I only got to share one of these special holidays with you.
It occurred to me that it is time to put your special little Christmas tree in your vase at your grave,and it just seems wrong.....because we should be setting it up in your room for you to see.
I just can't believe that it has been that long, and I miss you more
BUT with those feelings also comes the realization that you MUST be so much happier where you are.  That you can move around without wires and tubes, and that you get to spend these holidays with cool is that?
I can't even imagine.
One of the ways that we keep you alive during the holidays, is by decorating and donating a tree to The Festival Of Trees in your memory.  The amazing thing about this festival, is that typically every.single.tree is done in memory of somebody, and most of the time it is a child.  While we are at the festival, we can just look around and feel not so alone in our journey.
Everyone there is missing someone as much as we miss you.
I have so much more to tell you about the festival, but for tonight I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to my baby boy.  We love you so very much.