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The Red Bird

Somewhere, a few weeks ago, I read or saw a thing that was talking about how red birds, or cardinals, are a sign of a loved one who has passed away. I'm not sure how that belief came about or if it's true, but it really stuck with me for some reason. In fact, I just googled it as I started writing this and yes, there are multiple websites and sources saying this same thing. It's an old belief I think, something referring back to the saints.

Anywho, I've been struggling a bit lately with the thought of Charles being gone. Even though, I've shared with you my thoughts and opinions on suicide, I still have weak moments, especially this time of year with the anniversary fast approaching.

It's kind of like a diet, even though your brain knows you shouldn't eat all that pepperoni pizza or you shouldn't eat all that cookie dough because it's 'bad' for you or because it'll ruin your diet, you still have weak moments where you eat it anyways. And you say 'screw you' to your diet while you enjoy, or hate yourself, with every bite.

Even though I'm accepting of Charles's death, I still have moments where I get mad or I cry or I question everything...or most of all where I have many many regrets and I feel a lot of guilt.

This is kind of silly, but today is our dog, Molly's birthday. Those of you following me on instagram know her as Bawlly because that's what Kaleb called her when he first started talking.

Charles and I picked out Molly together, right before we got engaged. She was our fur-child before we became actual parents to Kaleb. We treated her just like a kid. After Kaleb came along, she was pushed aside a bit, more so by me. Charles continued to give her attention and spoil her as much as he could get away with. They had grown very very close in the last couple years.

As I said, today is her birthday. When I came home, after dropping Kaleb off at daycare this morning, my mind got the best of me and wondered off. I started thinking about how close Charles and Molly were and how if he were still alive, he would make sure she had some special treats today. Then, like they always do, my thoughts go back to that day. The day he decided to leave this world behind. It's so silly, but I wondered if he told Molly goodbye. They were the only ones home that morning and I wonder if he gave her one last pat on the head or one last ear rub.

After those thoughts came and went, of course more and more thoughts. I imagine this is fairly normal, your mind just carries you as far as you let it, especially when it's quiet all around, like it is for me today.

This morning was so unbelievably quiet. I'm still trying to settle into this new life of 'working from home' and it just isn't normal yet. Today, there are no pictures to take because it's been raining for a few days and now every yard and just about every street is flooded. I'm literally at home with my thoughts, my tears, the rain, and a bunch of chocolate chip cookies that I regret ever baking.

Because the dough is so much better.

I didn't even have any music or TV on, just silence.

So, as I was standing in the kitchen, thinking about all the 'what if's' regarding Charles; wondering what that last morning of his was like, wondering if it was just as quiet as this morning seemed to be; wondering if he petted Molly one last time; wondering if he was mad at me; wondering if he was mad at himself; wondering if something could have changed his mind, I looked up and saw a red bird in the yard. He stood so bright in our dreary soaked yard.

I immediately knew I wasn't actually alone. Charles was here, reminding me all is well. He was here to tell me to stop having regrets and stop questioning a choice that was his own.

In the seven years I've lived here, I've never seen a red bird in our yard. I'm pretty sure I would remember if I had because I've always thought they were beautiful and rare to an extent. I watched that bird hop around our yard like there wasn't a flood and like it wasn't even raining cats and dogs. He jumped around on Kaleb's playscape and even on his cozy coupe car. I'm not sure how long I stood there and watched him but it was long enough to know he wasn't just here for grins and giggles. He was singing and dancing around, long enough to be sure I saw him.

After a while, I stopped watching and went back into the house, where I may or may not have eaten some cookies and wiped my tears. I was thinking about what an impact that little red bird had on me and how it sure changed the outlook of my day. I spotted my camera on the table and wondered if he would still be out there for me to snap a few quick pictures of him...sure enough, I went back out and there he was, still dancing around like he had no other agenda. I'm thankful I was able to grab some photos of him so I could share along with this post.

Y'all know these posts help my heart; I'm blessed to have this space to share stories like these.

-As I sit here and type this, I can still hear him chirping outside. It's been about 2 hours now and he's still over there, chillin. I have literally never heard a bird be so LOUD and I've probably never seen one this vibrant. I'm thankful for these special and unique reminders.

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