So today, I smile.

This is a different kind of holiday. It's obviously my first Mother's Day without my Mother.


I'm sitting here in my courtyard listening to the wind chime that was given to me by some sweet women in my life shortly after my Mom died. Every time it chimes, I think of her. It's chiming like nobody's business right now.

Having a Mom who's no longer on this planet, as Lila calls it, is different. But here's how it's ok.

In her absence, I've noticed beauty...
Far more beauty than I ever took the time to see before she left.

I've always loved plants, flowers and green -- that's due in large part to my Grandma who instilled that love in my Mom and then subsequently, in me.

Still, I'm not what you'd call a [insert air quotes] "nature lover."  For a significant portion of my life I've disliked birds. Actually, less "dislike" and more "disdain." They're twitchy and they've always scared me.

When I was a child I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house during the summers. My grandpa raced pigeons and therefore had a pigeon coop that housed a bajillion pigeons. The cousins would have to go in to the coop and feed the birds a couple of times a day and guess who was small enough to fit through the door easily? Yours truly. I'd open that door and even though they were in their own little cages, I'd have to walk the narrow aisle and they'd squawk and flutter and slam their angry bird bodies against the cages. AHHHH!!!!  Terrified me. See? Birds and me go way back.

(Why couldn't he raise hummingbirds? They're far more friendly. I digress.)

Well, my Mom didn't love birds all that much either, but she tried to later in life. She owned 11 acres in Missouri and it was a haven. It was her own piece of paradise and she was "green" before it was cool to be green. So, before all of the hipsters started getting chickens and instagramming photos of them, my Mom decided that she was going to add a few chickens to her life so that she could have fresh eggs. She had this uber-cute, Martha-Stewart-esque coop that both allowed the birds to lay their eggs and allowed them to be free and come and go as they pleased.

She got a few chickens and I remember asking her, "Yeah, so how is that going?"

"I don't know, Kylee. They certainly seem pushy. But, I'm sure it'll be fine."

The next day...

"How are the chickens Mom?"

Her voice a little more serious, "I don't know. I don't think I love them. Did you know they fly? They keep getting stuck in the trees. I don't know..."

The next day... I think it was day three...

"So, how are the chickens today?"

"Kylee! THEY SURROUNDED ME! They wouldn't let me get out of my car. They were coming after me! I think I've had enough."

We both had a good laugh, because you just can't trust birds. And she gave the chickens back and bought her eggs from someone else who had trustworthy, kind chickens who didn't instill fear in their owners.

We both agreed that birds were never to be trusted.


So enter the present.

The other day I was driving in my car. It was a fantastic and glorious and beautiful Cabo day. I had my windows down, all four of them. Moonroof open. I was singing. The girls were singing. (We've been singing a lot of Sara Bareilles these days.) The most GORGEOUS feather blows in through my open passenger window and made its home on my dashboard.

I smiled.

Because it was a feather. A feather that belonged to a bird. The animal that both of us didn't exactly love. And it was gorgeous. And it was from her.

I drove on.


A couple of days later I got out of my car at work, grabbed my bags from the backseat and... a feather... crossed my toes.

This has never happened before.

I smiled.

Because it was a feather. And it was random. And it was from her.

I walked on.

And I felt like she was with me.


I was at the beach on Monday with the girls. Lila asked me if I would run with her. So, Vivi, Lila and I took off and ran to the end of the beach, touched the rocks and turned around to run back. I stopped to help Vivi and there it was...

... a small feather...

...right at my toes.

I smiled.

Because it keeps happening.

Of all of the reminders...

Of all of the signs...

She sends a feather.

She's funny even when she's not on this planet.

She's with me.

This much I know is true. I can feel it.


Happy Mother's Day, Shirl.
Wherever you are.
And keep those signs coming, ok?


Happy Mother's Day to you.

Two out of three smiles aren't bad. Friday, before Vivi's Mother's Day performance.

--The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  :: Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  :: Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.



  1. these feathers make my heart smile for your heart.
    love you, Miss

  2. I love you. Keep the feathers coming!

  3. This post makes me smile. I am glad that you and Shirl have found a way to stay connected and that she is with you.

    also this, "Kylee! THEY SURROUNDED ME! They wouldn't let me get out of my car. They were coming after me! I think I've had enough." made me laugh out loud. What a hoot!



written exclusively by twopretzels. | Contact . Powered by Blogger.