Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seven Years Ago Yesterday, According to the Pelicans

Have you ever had one of those really peaceful days that seemed to be almost like a dream? Several years ago, seven to be exact, we had one of those days. It was a Sunday. We went to our meeting in the morning, went to visit my husband's 'Gammaw' who was in the hospital, and then went home and lazily put together a new swing set for the kiddos. Well, one kiddo was still too young for it, which is how I recall exactly how many years ago it was. My daughter had been born the previous December, and we were in the month of April at the time.

While we were assembling the swing set, the most amazing thing happened. Droves upon droves of huge birds were suddenly migrating over our heads in complete silence. It was one of the most majestic scenes I've ever witnessed in real life. They were flying astonishingly low, compared to the altitudes of the migration geese and ducks, and like I said, completely silent - also in contrast to geese and ducks. It was hypnotic. We just watched them in awe for at least half and hour, maybe more.

I had never seen this particular type of migration before, in spite of living in this general vicinity of Texas nearly my whole life. We weren't certain what they were, but considering their size, I thought they must be pelicans. But why were they headed over our area flying DUE North? Maybe headed to Lake Superior? I didn't know, and still don't know. ( I'm nearly sure they are pelicans, now, because since then, I've actually looked up pictures of pelicans in flight and they look exactly the same.)

We were all sort of under the spell of that sight all evening. Then the phone rang, and we learned that my husband's Gammaw (baby talk for Grandma, of course, so named by my husband when he was just a wee boy, and then everyone called her Gammaw forever) who had been doing very well just hours before had taken a sudden drastic turn for the worst. We rushed to the hospital, but were too late, she was already gone when we got there. It was particularly awful for my husband, since he was very close to her all his life. She had always kept him after school when he was growing up and as soon as he was old enough, he moved in with her to help take care of her.

We stayed at the hospital for several hours, quietly talking amongst family and friends, reminiscing and grieving, as you do in that situation.

By the time we were headed home it was seriously late, some time in the AM hours of the morning. I don't remember the reason, but we had one other stop to make before we went home, and on our way there we saw the most spectacular meteorite any of us had ever seen. To this day I haven't seen it's equal. It streaked across the sky right in front of us bright enough to to light up the whole sky in turquoise and then exploded fantastically in a blaze of glory.

We just looked at each other in amazement. I couldn't help but think what a wonderful gift it was to have two such wonderful memories, as if to ease the blow of such a great loss.

Usually, I can recall the exact dates of things that mark tragedy, but this isn't one of those crystal clear dates for me. Yesterday however, the pelicans graced us with their migration again. I hadn't seen them since that day, but I was very glad to see them again, and to reflect on that day, seven years ago, when they showed up, in my mind, to help us get through what was to be a very sad day indeed.

9 comments:

Chris said...

All I can say is wow--God is good

midgeling said...

That is such an amazing connection to have. I don't really believe in coincidence. I think that was all somehow a gift to you - a memory to treasure. Thanks for sharing that.

Kelly O said...

What a wonderful heartfelt post. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.

Robin said...

WOW!

Dreams of Yarn said...

So incredible to have such peaceful symbols to associate with her passing.

lobstah said...

What an amazing story. Thanks for telling it.

Anonymous said...

You probably are right about the pelicans, they are here in Minnesota now. I saw hundreds of them on the open water near my house. (Pelican Lake, what else?) They are ugly, beautiful, but I love them. Have you ever seen them walk? They are hilarious!

JustApril said...

I should have known there was a "Pelican Lake" in Minnesota! I guess I haven't seen them walk, actually, only fly and dive for a fish.

Tracy said...

Very nice story ana memory for you. Thanks for telling us.