Friday, June 23, 2017

Are You My Mother?

My mother died on March 25, 2017. If my friend is right, she has returned.

For the last four months or so, my office has been a confounding place. Calls, coming and going, disappeared in mid-sentence. Words and thoughts were left hanging. There was an uncertainty, a question mark haunting my space, distracting me and making my days at work daunting.

Trial and error led only to tribulation and more error until finally, about two weeks ago, a solution manifested itself. Phrases were finished, apologies to clients disappeared as order returned and normalcy seemed ready to be, well, the norm.

But scarcely had one head scratching episode ended, when the next reared its unusual head. Staring directly in my face.

We have all, at one time or another, experienced the phenomenon of a bird striking a window next to where you were sitting or standing. The startling thwack out of nowhere, the banging, the fluttering of wings and then, soon after it begins, it ceases. And so, I gave it little thought when I received a visit outside my office window close to two weeks ago.

The bird, smallish, with brown body and top of head, mostly white in the neck and face, and black of beak, appeared just to the left of where I sat, looking out the large wall of glass towards the universe outside. The contact of moving object against immovable one was intense, and repeated itself in rapid succession as the bird moved from my left to my right. A quick flutter of wings, a crack against the pane. A small retreat. And then repeat, a few inches from the last spot. Bang, flutter, bang, flutter, bang, flutter.

My computer was in my direct line of sight. Just below it, and slightly to my right, the bird suddenly stopped this cycle and came to rest on the lower right quadrant of the window. It perched by the small rubber piece on the window frame. And then it began attacking this rubber, furiously trying to remove it with its beak, as though it was attempting to break into my office.

I moved from my seat and tapped at the window, separated only by the width of the glass from where the hard repetitious work was being performed. Remarkably, this did not seem to scare the bird. It did nothing but fix its gaze directly at me. I spent a few seconds in a staring contest. Then it ended, and the bird, at its own pace, moved on, banging, fluttering, banging, fluttering. A few inches to my right and then a few more. Finally, after several minutes, the symphony concluded and my erstwhile acquaintance disappeared into the day time sky.  And that, I thought, was that. 

But to say that was not that would be a huge understatement. Every day that I have returned to work since then the pattern has repeated, several times each day. Thwack, flutter. Move over a bit, thwack, flutter. And then again. But always there is that spot, below and to my right where my new mate spends time, pecking at the rubber, stopping to look, it seems, directly at me. What is it trying to ask? Or tell me? A movie on replay. Groundhog's day, only not with a groundhog.

I have spoken with the office manager, relating this tale, and of my concern for this seemingly disoriented being and its self destructive behavior. He has shrugged his shoulders in that "birds will be birds" kind of "what do you think I can do" retort.

It has been suggested  by my wife that I take photos and send them off to the local nature center with my inquiries on my best course of action. But for now, my companion remains a constant presence in my life.

My friend says that everyone who dies returns in some other form. And that she is quite certain that my mother is now fluttering outside my office window, checking up on me, furiously trying to re-enter my world.

Two weeks ago, my daughter was married.. Family was my mom's central force. She would have absolutely been thrilled with everything about the wedding, would have soaked up every detail. Is it mere coincidence that the bird happened upon me on the first day I returned to work after that wondrous weekend? Should I be pressing pictures of the ceremony against my window?

I have never been one to believe in the after-life. I figure we are all one and done. But there are mysteries that lay far beyond my grasp to comprehend, and who am I to make unqualified pronouncements about what is and what is not. And I do love Heaven Can Wait, so what is wrong with believing we get more than one crack at existence?

So if that is my mother hovering outside my office, peering in to see how I am doing, I must be on my best behavior during her visits. And, yes mom, that is a picture of you and me, next to the one of dad in mid-swing on the golf course. You see, you both may be gone but you are far from forgotten.

Or maybe you are just far from gone.


Harvey F Leeds said...


Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

Say hello( to you know who) for me!! Xo


Anonymous said...

I think you should open the window and see what the bird wants!


Anonymous said...

This one I have to keep; thank you.


Eileen said...

I have no doubt this bird is a sign from your mother. Its a gift from her that love never dies and our loved ones are watching over us.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

While I don’t know what happens when people die, I’m not too sure “one and done” applies. Nor am I a Buddhist, but their teachings on life and death may have profound meaning. Buddhists believe while we’re alive our life is energy, and after death we continue to be energy. That energy, as in the Law of Conservation of Energy, says that nothing can be created or destroyed-it can only be transformed. Energy is continually changing and transforming. It can never be lost. So when we lose a loved one and we’re grieving, meditation helps us look deeply to see the ways they still continue. The loved one is still alive within us and around us. It is possible to still recognize them in a different form than in the past. We can still speak to them and we can still hear their voice within us. If I were you I don’t think I’d want to be seen picking my nose while that bird is fluttering outside your window.


Pam said...

Your friend also said it was your Mother trying to tell you she knew Alex got married and is with you.. just saying.....