Saturday, May 23, 2009

And the birds keep singing

My dad’s been gone for 15 years now.  It feels strange.  I was so busy caring for Avelyn yesterday that I didn’t realize what day it was until the afternoon.  It was easier this year than any year previous, I think because I have a family of my own, a reason to get up every day and think about the future rather than the past.  Not that it means in any way that I am over his death, or don’t miss him everyday or have moments of such sincere grief that I think my heart might break all over again.  It just means that I have an idea now of how he must have felt at some point about our family.   

I remember after my dad passed away my mom would talk about seeing cardinals, and how she thought about it like it was him, showing her signs and pointing her in the right direction.  I thought it was crazy when I was young but at some point I started seeing them too.  And I only saw them at moments I really needed to see him.  Moments when I missed him something awful, or felt totally helpless or had no idea what to do.  Out of nowhere a bright red, beautiful cardinal would show up. 

One appeared on Thursday, the day before “the day”.  It flew all around our backyard.  I saw it while we were eating lunch, just the three of us, at our kitchen table.  It was beautiful and flittering around the tree outside the window.  I smiled and told Kevin to look.  I asked if he knew what day it was, what tomorrow was and he said yes and smiled too.  Sure it could be a coincidence, it’s possible there are swarms of cardinals flying around me all the time and I just don’t see them until I need to see them.  Even so I can’t help but feel like his presence was there, giving me the peace I felt all day Friday.  Giving me peace when I miss him most. 

I miss you, Dad. 

Bruce Robert Norman, 1955-1994



  1. That was really good Jen. I remember when he led a group of us kids on a trail out behind the annex building at grandma and grandpa's church in Pasadena. I don't know why I remember that day but it was the adventure he created for us out of really nothing at all. Yesterday I was showing people on the boat the scars from my extra fingers and toes and i'm always asked where I got them from. I always say my Uncle Bruce had them and it's on my mom's side of the family. I like knowing that I share that with him

  2. hugging you.

    cardinals...that is so special.


  3. completely touched my heart with your words and memories.

  4. Beautiful post. Hugs to you.

    I love the pic of you and your daddy. How cool to have a sign that he is watching over you.


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