I have many memories of my Dad’s fondness of birds. As mentioned in the Eulogy I wrote for his service, my dearest memory is of him cutting up worms on Mom’s breadboard for the baby robins in the nest on their veranda. Needless to say, Mom was not impressed!
I remember him being so sad when he realized that a momma robin had abandoned one of her babies in the nest. It didn’t know how to fly yet. Dad fed him for a few days and then he felt it best to let nature take it’s course. He gently lifted it out of the nest and put in in his garden. He never saw it again.
When we were driving back to Calgary after his funeral we noticed a crow seemingly to be leading us on. We had to go very slow as the roads were treacherous. The crow would fly a few hundred feet, seem to wait for us to catch up on the side of the road, then fly ahead again. Eventually, he just flew off. In my grief, I thought perhaps maybe that crow represented Dad, letting us know he was still with us. It brought me comfort.
Since retiring and moving to Parksville, my love for birds has increased. I am constantly on the look-out for them and am amazed at the varieties we have here. My brother has been equally taken with them for years. When he worked he would tell me stories of all the different kinds he’d seen and fed in the fields. He told me of a time when he saw a lone duck who looked exhausted, walking the prairie field. There wasn’t any water anywhere so he managed to box him up and take him to the nearest pond. The duck swam away happily. Jim and I have great conversations about birds now and I’ve learned a lot about them from him. We will always have that bond – no matter how long our time together on this earth is.