recognize the signs

The redbird sat in the yard and just listened. He looked into my eyes and listened. I believed with every fiber of my being that it was him. There was no other explanation.

Just a few hours before, he had gone to the heavens. I thought I would never see my brother again. And yet, as I sat in his backyard and talked to him, he came back to me. Right in front of me in fact. He swooped down into the grass and listened as I spilled my soul.

Some things can be circumstance. And then there are other moments in which you cannot find rhyme or reason as to why they happen. Again chalk it up to circumstance however I believe that if you are open to looking at the signs, noticing the world around you, even in the worst of moments, beautiful signs come to you.

My brother was the first love of my life. Twelve years older, he always had time for his little sister, as a child and as an adult. We were siblings but we were more than that, we were friends. Yes, I can admit in a way I idolized him. In my eyes, he was bigger than life. He was a child at heart. We just clicked. We got each other. We could say anything to each other. Eat shit, fuck off, you’re a nut, and love you were not uncommon in our conversations. I could be exactly who I was with him. No masks. Just us. Maybe it was because we were so much alike in our stubborn nature, our childlike behavior, and numerous other reasons… but the bottom line is, we just got each other.

When I received a call that he was taken to the hospital, i jumped in the car and proceeded to talk to whoever may be listening out there in the universe while driving. You can’t have him. I need him. I yelled at him to fight. Don’t leave me. But arriving at the hospital and being met by his daughters in the parking lot, it only took one look at them and I knew, they had lost him, and so did I.

I had experienced grief before but nothing like this. Both our parents had passed away within the last eight years. No loss is the same and no grief is the same. I was prepared for each of my parents’ death. They had been ill and you prepare yourself for what you know in your gut is going to happen. I was not prepared for this. A piece of my heart was torn off and no one is ever ready for that.

I wanted one more talk. I wanted him to know that no one could ever take his place. I asked him what in the world am I going to do without him in my life.

And then he showed up. At 9:30 at night, in his backyard, he flew down and listened.

Some may think it’s crazy. And they may be right. I acknowledge the fact that yes there are birds everywhere. But I have grown to notice the signs. I have grown to accept the possibilities. I have grown to not only open my eyes to the signs but also my heart.

For out of the blue, this beautiful redbird sat in the grass, just feet from me, and listened. His ruffled feathers said it all. He had just gone through the fight of his life and he was here to tell me it’s going to be okay. I looked into his eyes and said,” really, you’re coming back to me as a redbird?” While my eyes were filled with tears, my heart was filling with hope. Hope that now that I had this sign, I could know that he was still going to be with me.

So while this may in fact be crazy, the facts are that for days following his passing, a redbird found its way into my world. In my backyard sitting on the fence. On the side of a busy city street downtown. Outside my office, hovering in front of my third floor window. My friends sending me cards and texts with redbirds and they never knew this story. And with each and every sighting, the pain in my heart is slowly fading a bit. The sadness slowly being replaced with a smile when he appears.

Circumstance? Could be. A sign? Absolutely. Open your heart and your eyes to the world around you. Don’t wait to recognize the signs because they are right there in front of you.



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