Lately, since I have been home a lot with this quarantine, I am putting bird seed in my feeder often, like daily in this one feeder and it is not small. How do these birds eat so much?
In one of my blogs, Care of a Cardinal, I wrote about the cardinals and that they are always welcome, as are the bluebirds, woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds. It is those pesky blackbirds that swoop in and bully the others as they fly away quickly over to my Magnolia tree nearby awaiting their turn. If the cats are out and about wanting to play, they also aggravate my pretty birds.
Each day the seed is gone, yet again. They hang around and I can almost understand their despair as they perch and look around because there is no seed, and like, hey woman fill this up. They can be bossy. I had a bluebird years ago that truly was loud and bossy and it would get my attention. So, the same routine every day. They will miss me when work continues, as I won’t have time to devote to their feeder. The other feeder holds the same amount, if not more, but limited space for many to perch.
My one cat was at the deck door with me, as I was looking out this morning and excited to see the birds, as I was. My rule is don’t kill my pretty birds but you can be a bully to the black ones.
As I was filling up the feeder, I remembered back when my boys were young. My youngest was around eight. The neighbor boy was about the same age and each had a BB gun. Now we had set up shooting targets in our back yard, so they had ample room and areas to shoot. My rule for them was to not shoot my pretty birds. Okay, mom and off they went.
Our deck is up high, a lattice around, has a door and used for storage underneath. This one day, I was working out in the yard and needed to get something from under the deck for the pool. I opened the door and there were two black birds lying on their back next to one another, of course, with their feet up, dead. As I stood there looking at these birds, laughing to myself because I knew what happened and who did it. Those two rascals were now inside playing a video game. I did tell them not to shoot my pretty birds so maybe I needed to be a little more clearer, no birds. Once I finished my task, I went inside and just wandered in the tv room trying to keep a straight face and asked if they knew anything about these two dead birds, inquisitive on just how they died together like that, next to one another. Of course, they then looked at one another knowing they were busted.
I did not get mad, I’m still trying to stay cool in this situation. I explained that shooting birds is not a good thing, etc., my pretty birds or the black birds, you have targets. I’m sorry they both said. The mom in me said this needs to be taken care of so I need you both to go dig a hole. I placed the pair of birds in a box. Letting them know, they need to have a little funeral. Now the look at me was, are you kidding me? I believe they did just that by taking the box, putting it in the hole, covering it. I think I told them that they needed to dress up for the funeral but I let that slide. I don’t think another bird was a target from then on or if so, they did not place under the deck, knowing they would need to have another bird funeral. We do laugh about this still and if I sent a bird meme to my son, we would bring this story up yet again and laugh. Memories.
I love birds, and I have always had a bird in my life. My favorite caged, indoor bird is a cockatiel. The boys were still young, around eight and ten. At our home, we always have had extra boys in our home to come and stay over, play video games, skateboard, eat, all the boy stuff that they do. This way, I knew where mine were, plus I enjoyed having a house full of boys. Many times being a short-order cook. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and could do such, which I loved.
Later on, the boys were on spring break. I am cleaning and running the sweeper when the telephone rings. The call was from a parent, as his child was at our house, so thinking he was on his way to pick up his son. His voice was different though and he proceeded to tell me that one of the girls in their class had died while on vacation, of drowning. Okay, this day just got tough in telling the boys and working through it all.
Days later the visitation, of course, was held at our church. The boys were not interested in going and we discussed and I offered again, etc. I was not going to push them but respect their reasoning and wishes. This evening, my husband and I took the boys to a friend’s house while we went to pay our respects to this family.
It was hard seeing a young girl in a casket and the grieving parents. This should never happen to parents in burying a child. After we left, we went back home as I had made an appointment with a veterinarian. My cockatiel was ill and he dealt with birds so we picked up the bird and off we went. I had never taken a bird to a vet before. He was not an overly friendly doctor, and I just remember his office was dark but the whole evening was dark and sad.
We were in the little office waiting to be seen. The Veterinarian looked at the bird and said it was sick. The decision was made to euthanize it that evening. I sat there in the corner chair in this dark, little room with my husband standing, no words were said, as the doctor took my sweet bird in the other room. I am alone in my thoughts and the tears bottled up within from the visitation and now over this bird, so I thought.
Emotions are real and will come out in some way, I have learned in the last six years through counseling. As we waited together in the office but both distant. The words that came to me as if spoken aloud was, ‘your marriage is dead just like your bird.’ Oh my! What do I do with that? It was as real as someone standing there saying it to me. I had to wonder, Lord was that You? Was this Satan attacking me even more with these words. Honestly, I did not know but now I am holding a dead bird in a box, we pay and we leave. Talk about being in a state of shock, I was. How do I even express what just happened and those words I heard to anyone? I didn’t, as I would look and sound crazy. Most never knew of the marriage issues that we had kept hidden but as the words I heard, I knew the words were true.
Since the boys were at a friend’s house, the church visitation was done for a young girl, now a dead bird in our backseat and no reason to go straight home to place it in the empty cage, we went to eat, like a date. I am stunned with it all, my emotions were everywhere ready to erupt but he was hungry.
Our favorite restaurant, usually in times past, was a fun occasion to go to for a date. Even as I write, maybe eighteen years ago, this is all still so real to me, the whole night. We sat across from one another in complete silence. He ate and while I did eat, I had a hard time swallowing due to the emotions jammed pack in my throat, like a valve ready to spew. As I glanced at him, there was nobody home, as they say. I might as well have been sitting alone at the table. Those words, ‘your marriage is dead just like your bird’ rolled over and over in my mind, not sharing as it would have gone on deaf ears.
Somehow, someway I had to get through this life, keeping our family intact while I came unglued at times, in secret. I had to fight through this to keep the boys safe, on target with school, curfews, etc. I knew if I did not remain strong and pull through this, I knew he would not. Just as the nobody home look I saw at the dinner table and the many times, they would have ruled and he would let them. No! These years were hard. I knew if some were aware of what was happening, they would just say leave. Sounds easy. My counselor back then did encourage me to leave, but I told him that I cannot do that to my boys. I will push through for them, and I did. Many times wanting to throw my hands up; I surrender, I cannot do it anymore. I pat myself on the back though, and I know that this sounds prideful but I am proud that I stuck it out. I really do not think the boys would have gone down the same path and be as successful today. Just like the ones who would have said leave, they did not have to live it or know what I was truly experiencing. I did what I knew to do for my boys. I had to decide what was best. Sadly knowing either way they, too, will need counseling in life. There is nothing wrong with counseling, and I would encourage it for them. Would I do it again? Yes! To protect them, I sure would. I am stronger today due to it all but it knocked me down several times and it did affect my health, but I am still here.
When I started counseling back in 2014, it was time to take care of me. I learned of Aspergers, just six years ago, which was eye opening and like a breath of fresh air for me. This is what I have dealt with all of these years to the point of exhaustion in all areas of my life. Looking back, the night at the vet’s office, alone at the dinner table, I now understood why there was no reaction. Sadly, that was just one evening, maybe four hours total of my married life, now multiply the hours, days and years.
He knows my name and He knows where I am.
These were the words that I held onto through it all. Maybe you are going through a storm, hold on! Storms don’t last forever. Take the words I used and use them, as they give HOPE.