Friday, January 25, 2013

A Hummingbird Story (part I)

I have a special relationship with hummingbirds starting two weeks after my mom died. I thought I wrote about it somewhere on my blog but I couldn't find it.

Briefly, my mom had a short bout with a very aggressive cancer that killed her 44 days after she was diagnosed. Those 44 days were precious and terrifying, tragic and deeply spiritual. Things got very simple. It was all about living in the present moment.

During those 44 days I would sit with my mom every night as she fell asleep. I would watch her reading her book. The cancer had metastasized to her liver by the time she was diagnosed. She felt extremely fatigued and weak as a result but she loved reading her book. She would try to stay awake as long as she could. I watched as she'd start to doze off, the book falling. I'd gently pick the book back up, put it near her hands in case she woke up again and then would sit for an hour while she slept. During that hour I prayed for a miracle.

During that time I would often find myself wanting to ask my mom if maybe she could send a sign letting me/us know she was okay (after she died). Because she loved hummingbirds that is the image that would appear in my mind. But I never gave voice to those words because I knew my mom was fading fast and I didn't want to use up any of her time talking about my wish to know she made it safely to Whereever.

There is a backstory. Two Christmas's before she died I decided to make everyone in my family a stained glass thingie. Because my mom loved hummingbirds I decided to make a hummingbird for her. They took longer to make than I'd anticipated. It was close to Christmas and I was working on my mom's. It was the last one I had to do. When I was trying to fit glass in the chest area of the hummingbird the glass broke. I didn't have any other color to use except for red glass so I put the piece of red glass near the throat and chest area of the hummingbird. I'd never seen a hummingbird with a red chest area so I hoped my mom would like it and she did.

Two weeks after my mom died I was sitting outside on the front porch talking to a friend on the phone when a hummingbird appeared in front of me. My friends voice faded into the background as I watched transfixed by this beautiful hummingbird hovering about 18 inches away as if she were trying to communicate something. She had a red patch on her chest.  I knew she was from my mom and burst into tears.

1 comment:

liebjabberings said...

Thanks for your hummingbird photos - I'd never seen one on a nest. Of course they made it (I'm an optimist). Ours are all ruby-throats, too (I live in NJ).

My grandmother told me a similar story about a sign from one of the two boys she lost - she saw a white rose in a place at her house there had never been one/or it wasn't the right season (forgive me - it's a very long time ago), and knew it was a sign he was okay. It was a great comfort.

I hope you remember your mom fondly every time one of these little jewels visits you.

I was just thinking of them: my calendar marks April 1 as the earliest date to put out the feeder. I will.

Thank you for sharing.