“We missed you at the dinner,” my mother said.
“I missed being there,” I replied, sincerely.
We let the sadness sit in silence for a moment.
I’ve missed so many important occasions over the past decade.
Family reunions, weddings, birthdays, baby showers and this year, our Christmas gathering, have all happened without me.
Mother always tells me who showed up and gives me bits of updates on my loved ones. Loved ones I’ve lost contact with, except through photos or indirect stories.
I’m trying not to let things get me down this holiday season, but so far, it is a huge challenge.
Not only am I in more pain from fibromyalgia and a few new ailments too, my son and I are not getting along. It’s a double dose of holiday grief!
While talking with Mother about the Christmas gathering that I wasn’t able to attend, I immediately felt my heart-strings pull. My efforts to be positive seemed to pay off because right away I decided to try and take joy in her account of the gathering. I was surprised when soon I was smiling, as I imagined one of my great nieces bringing one of her cousins five wrapped presents.
“I don’t know if she got the other ones anything, but she sure had five,” Mother said, with that pure joy a Great-Grandmother has. “She had every one of them wrapped too,” she added with a little laugh.
After a few minutes into the conversation, I walked to the window where I could see a flock of Robins in the yard. They love the grassy lawn where I live and they are spectacular to see! They always seem to come when the light shows their silhouettes under the Sycamore tree. Many of them move toward my door, and I get to see them up close and personal as they lean in towards the ground, turning their heads slightly, listening for earthworms.
“Hey Mother! The Robins are here!”
I’ve told her about the Robins before.
Amidst the flock were other birds about the same size as Robins, but with black with golden stripes. One or two had iridescent blue heads, so perhaps they were young Common Grackles.
Sometimes, when I mention the birds in my yard over the phone to people, they’re silent for a moment afterward. I always wonder if they think I’m making up these tales of many birds!
Mother was quiet for a moment, but then she remarked that I should, “send a photo to that wildlife magazine.”
I wish I could. I wish I could, if for no other reason than to make her proud. She would be happy to see one of my photos in a magazine.
I’m in pain and can’t sit long enough to complete even the most simplest of photo projects.
“Now,” I started telling my bird tales again, “there are Black-capped Chickadees, two or three bluejay, some Orioles, and the Hawk has landed on the ground!”
As if that wasn’t enough, a flock of Cardinals were perched on the bushes by the treeline!
“It’s a winged-oasis out there!” I told Mother. “It’s so beautiful!”
I didn’t have the energy to go outside to take a photo. At least, not yet.
I was happy to see the pretty winged visitors, as always, but when I’m feeling unusually blue, I am especially grateful because the beauty and life they bring lifts a part of my spirit every time.
I sensed my mother knew, or somehow, she could feel what I saw.
Mother and I have always had a connection on a level other than this physical one that we can see and understand.
Our talk ended when my son called. “I hope he’ll stay and have the chocolate croissants with me,” I remarked to Mother.
He’s in the habit of taking food that I cooked to his apartment to eat. He won’t visit me at home or talk to me much lately.
The hawk was still on the ground when my son arrived. A neighbor walked by and we each watched the bird for a few minutes.
He was excited over the beautiful pastries and gave me a hug, thanking me for baking them, but he took his croissants and headed back home. I was disappointed, but at least I knew he would enjoy them and that gave me comfort.
Practicing gratitude helps me get through hard times, even if the feeling only last for a little while. I need to remember the better times and keep hope alive.
I’m glad for the ability to enjoy the natural world around me. The wild ones keep coming back, so I have plenty of chances to take in nature’s beauty!
The hawk was still in the yard when my son left, but was perched on the electric wires.
I reached for my Canon!
Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses.
Peace and Happy Holidays!
Your blogger, Michelle.