During the absence of my writing I have suffered great loss and gone through many changes which led me to doubt my capabilities of finding the joy and peace I once found in in just the mere presence of nature and all the miracles that occur within. As I cared for my suffering mother through Alzheimer's my mind became full of new and never before experienced responsibilities that consumed every aspect of me. The desire to care for and protect the wildlife's shifted to an even more powerful desire to care for and protect my mom, nothing else seemed to matter as I knew she became totally dependent on me and I felt the loss of her in tiny bits and pieces every day long before I actually did lose her.
The wildlife still peeked in at us and gave our minds a break from all we were going through, like when I first moved mom into my home from her home a thousand miles away and she was missing her own comfort zone so much, we found a wounded mockingbird
waiting for us when we arrived, his leg was mangled and disabled which my mom could relate to due to the fact that at that time she was still recovering from a leg injury herself. Every morning we watched for the poor little bird to see how he was getting along and were so happy when he would snag a bug or sneak seed and berries from the feeders out back, because it gave us hope that he would still be able to survive despite his handicap. We would whistle or make other bird sounds to him and in return he would o share his beautiful songs back with us. For the first two weeks after our arrival back home he stayed nearby in a pomegranate
tree, just outside the front door. The welfare of that bird became very important because it helped us to temporarily step away from what we were going through and concentrate on something else which we needed to do. And he learned how to fly and scavenge for food almost as well as any other bird that had no injuries which gave us hope and happiness.
Mom and I would sit out back and listen to the happy bird songs and catch glimpses of their vibrant colors dashing through the trees and around the feeders and waters of the habitat. I wanted to share this part of my life with her for so long but she lived so far away and could only enjoy through the retailing of stories I would relay to her over the phone. She would become just as excited to hear about the critter happenings as I was to tell them and she even shared some remarkable ones back. We fed on each others enthusiasms and even shared pictures through the emails and she shared her enthusiasm with co workers and customers at work , She worked in a huge furniture store in Omaha Nebraska which gave her the opportunity to share with literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of nature lovers just like us. And she would share their experiences and pictures with me as well. We were always close even when we lived far apart but I think this gave us an even stronger bond.
Not too long after Mom moved down here to my home in South Texas her disease progressed and it became hard for her to visualize the tiny birds and even harder for her to breath outside in this humid climate so a lot of the outside happenings became much less important. In fact for a time the only thing that I could concentrate on was Mom and her well being. While Sharing her sufferings I became hardened through the painful journey my Mom endured. I went through disbelief that any human could go through so much pain, mentally and physically and I became angry at such unfairness. Parts of me became lost in a darkness I can not describe. The reality of how harsh and cold the world can be overwhelmed me and pushed aside all the hope and comfort I had previously felt simply by the unknowing. I still feel such loss and despair and confused anger now from not only the loss but the circumstances that surrounded the loss, yet at the same time I am thankful that I went through this with and for my mom. I learned so much even if at times I feel it was more than I wanted to, I am grateful to have been there for her when she needed me the most and even though I may not have known all the right things to say or do, I feel I did the best I knew how to do at the time and there is a comfort just knowing God allowed us to be together for as long as we were and through the hardest experience we ever had to face in our life.
It has been over a year since mom has left us and yet it seems like yesterday. I don't have that zest for life or the want to do much of anything in particular, no matter what I try the feeling just wont come back to me. For a year my grand babies lived with me and filled my time with happiness and joy and gave me less time to think of the pain I have locked away inside. But in a way it seems like it became a way to just not face the true feelings. I realized this when my grand babies moved out a couple months ago and I was forced to face my fears once again. it became as if I had just lost my mom all over again. It was like I had to pick up the pieces and start all over again. I had to remember what was important and search for the parts of me that I lost.
Family has always been the most important thing in my life , now that is true more than ever because I know how precious life is with family and how lonely it can be without. I am also realizing that the time spent with nature and wildlife is very important too. It defines who I am and gives my soul a peace and tranquility that can not be found any other way. So as much as I sometimes just want to hide from the world and forget it all, I know I must pick up the pieces and put me back together again. Thanks to God and to my very patient and understanding family, my husband, my son, my two sisters, and one very dear friend, I think I can try to do that now. And I am slowly feeling the wonder and curiosity of the wildlife creeping back in and this morning I had the opportunity to do just that so I thought I would share ...
I had read that the Great Kiskadee
birds were great nest builders but had never seen this personally until yesterday morning. As I rounded a corner on my morning walk I noticed a big sprig of grass that fell down right in front of me from above and when I looked up I was pleasantly surprised to see a yellow breasted bird sitting on the line connected to a nearby telephone pole. beak-full of grass, looking down at me. I knew right away this was a great Kiskadee
because of the black and white, zebra striped head. These guys visit the habitat daily for water and berries that are growing on my wild fruit vine.They normally make nests up high in the trees hidden away and the nests are a work of art in the shape of a football. I had only seen one before and it was at Hazel Bazemore
park where I have filmed lots of wildlife.
As I watched this beautiful bird making deliveries of grass and twigs to the new building area , I noticed he had a helper, a female was helping to twist the grasses into place. They didn't seem to mind having an observer or even the wood-pecker that was a couple of feet higher up happily drumming out tiny insects from holes he drilled into the pole. I guess they might even appreciate having their own personal little bug exterminator to prevent the buggers from invading their new home. I am hoping that their new home wont interfere with the man-made structure they have chosen to build it on but am not sure. I fear that they will get it all built and start a new family only to have it destroyed as I have seen before with other birds, the wild Monk Parakeets and the Northern Cardinals have had similar experiences. I will be keeping an eye on them and my fingers crossed!
See photos below
waiting her turn to help build ...
A very hard worker
The Wood pecker happily drums above ...
They have a good start ...
Happy Bird Songs to You All
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