Mourning Dove and Marking One Year
Exactly one year ago, when I left Mom at the hospital I pulled into the driveway and saw this mourning dove sitting at the edge of the birdbath. She kept staring at me for long minutes as I sat. I imagined that it was a message from Mom. Funny how those irrational thoughts run through your brain in seemingly random moments. It sat looking at me, then flew off and I thought of Mom’s soul flying up to heaven. Not long afterwards, I got a call from the hospital that she had passed. Is it a flight of fancy that makes the heart seek comfort in these little signs of living things? Man finds patterns of significance in the world around him, isn’t that what gives life meaning? I’m facing today with some apprehension. I have been hearing the mourning doves cooing for about a week now, it’s their time of year again. I lit what is left of my seven day candles this morning – only dad’s has any wick remaining, but that will do. I pressed Mom and Debbie’s candle up next to Dad’s for warmth. Silly gesture, perhaps, but it made sense. I burned incense. Three kinds all at once. My kids hate this, but again, it seems right. If my legs will take me there, I’ll stop by the cemetery later. Or not. I placed these flowers there last weekend. I will be reflecting on the Chinese poem my cousin read at Mom’s service. It goes like this:
Whether you meet me, or not
I am right there, without sorrow, or joy.
Whether you miss me, or not, affection is right there, without coming or going.
Whether you love me, or not, love is right there, without increasing or decreasing.
Whether you connect with me, or not, my hand is right in yours, without parting or abandoning.
Come into my arms and my heart,
Let me stay in your mind
And the song that Dad chose for Mom’s service :