I contemplate if that is the right word to use. You haven’t really been gone, have you? I saw you this morning in the ripple of the water. I see you and dad as I watch this mama and papa bird who live under the sundeck you and dad built. They work tirelessly day and night taking care of their children. The mama caws and squeaks so loud at our presence the neighbors can hear her. I want to tell her “Be quiet mama! We aren’t going to harm your babies!” But she’s doing what she’s supposed to do, calling out and taking care of her family. I see you in her loud, angry, protective, reassuring squeaks.
You could be loud at times. Yelling. Singing, Laughing.
I thought of you this morning as I tried to quietly get my coffee from the kitchen as to not wake Austin who sleeps in the bedroom below. You weren’t quiet in the mornings. In fact, you were so loud I would wake up angry. You did it on purpose. You wanted us ALL to wake up, so we could take you water skiing. The flat water at Chelan doesn’t wait for those who want to sleep in. You’d put up with our grumbling, because it was worth your ski. We’d put up with your need to ski, because it made your day.
When I opened the cabinet to choose my coffee mug, there you were again. Yellow and bright in your school bus glory. You woke up early to shuttle kids to and from school, and you made the best of it. Driving sports teams to their events. Taking the excited sixth graders to Camp Waskowitz as we sang “Peanut, peanut butter. Jelly.” You always stored your roller blades on the bus, so you could take loops around Greenlake while you waited for the kids to finish their field trip. You’d come home in the middle of the day, and park that big yellow school bus across the street. I can still picture it my mind, and see you opening the door to step out of your bus. It always amazed me this little person, like you, could handle a bus that big.
But you weren’t little at all, were you? You were strong and your spirit was large.
I’ve thought of you many times this week, as one of your children has not been feeling well. I call them every day to check in, because I love them. Also, because that is what you would do. You’d call your babies, checking in, just like the mama bird who lives under your deck.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, because I want more. I want more of you than what you can give. I want the loud, larger than life, loving adoration of my mom…to call, to sing, to ski, to laugh and to love.
But today all I have is the opportunity to reflect on the lessons you and the last several months have taught me. We may not have everything we want, but we must make the best of what we have.
I will see you in the ripple of the lake. Walk in the hills you loved. Drink coffee from the yellow school bus. Be reminded of your love as I watch the birds who live under your deck.