31 Days of Thanks – Birds

Shortly after my husband died, I looked out of the hospital window and watched the seagulls soar on the winds of the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. The storm that wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard had moved its way through New England and dissipated on the day that Mike entered Heaven, October 31, 2012.

During the 30+ years we were together, we spent a lot of time near the water. Our travels always seemed to take us towards a coast line. I have so many fond memories of our beach times together, most memorable being the night Mike asked me to marry him on these rocks in Narragansett, RI.


And so it seemed fitting to me that I would see those seagulls floating in the sky on that October morning, almost one year ago.

Birds have become very special to me over the past year. Each night I am lulled to sleep by the sound of owls calling back and forth. I remember Mike pointing out their low calls to one another and we would sit quietly and listen.

Last winter, I was staying at a lake. I was thinking of Mike when I looked out the window and saw the most incredibly beautiful ring-necked pheasant.


In all the years we have visited this lake house, we never saw a pheasant. I don’t know where it came from. The ring-necked pheasant was one of Mike’s favorite birds.

I had a wonderful friend come help me work in the yard a couple of weeks ago. Someone had dropped off a big white mum on my back porch. It is amazing.  I lifted the mum to move it when I saw this dear little bluebird laying on the porch…


I don’t know what happened to this little one..but God does. I remembered that Mike knew I like blue birds and he would excitedly point one out to me in the backyard when he spotted one…which was a rare sighting.  It would usually be gone by the time I got out there, but I still liked the thought that they were living among us back in the woods…and that he would take the time to point one out to me.

Last week, I was at the lake (again – more on that in another post). Our daughter and I were talking about Mike and we became a bit teary. I noticed something outside and when I looked I saw a blue heron fly towards the house and land just beyond the grass.

Blue Heron

It stayed there a moment and then flew off. I’ve never seen a blue heron there before. It was stunning.

There have been many times when I start to feel fearful of my future and all the practical needs that I have. Early on in my grief, I knew that I needed some direction and comfort for those times when I start to slide down that slippery slope of fear. I decided to claim these words and hold them close:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:25,26

Clearly, I have been reminded again and again of the truth that I have a God who knows my needs and is able to meet them. I am thankful that all I need to do is focus on one day at a time, doing my best to keep moving forward, taking care of my responsibilities, and trusting that He will continue to care for me, just as He does the birds of the air.

This is a the seventh installment in my 31 Days of Thanks. Please select the link below to read all previous posts.

31 days of thanks_2013


3 thoughts on “31 Days of Thanks – Birds

  1. Peggy McGowan says:

    amazing….really amazing how “things” just happen…and how God has a hand in all of it???

  2. Laurie W says:

    You are a gift and a true blessing to many I am sure. My prayers are with you and your family. May you know that your writing is healing to all who are reading,and sharing in your grieving.
    Psalm 3:5-7

  3. Kim Stirtan says:

    It seems God is using his amazing creation to remind you of beauty through the ashes in so many ways; memories, help of friends, joy of his creatures and his love for you.
    Love you,

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