We just returned from a family vacation to Hilton Head. It was truly a wonderful time. Truly. Sometimes we have this Norman Rockwell picture in our head and then it doesn't go as planned......trust me when I say we have had our fair share of those vacations. Kids get sick, fight constantly, miles of traffic....but this time things were honestly amazing. Yet I walk away missing my girl quite profoundly and that makes me feel a bit guilty. I am so blessed......with an amazing family. I have a healthy son and daughter. We have fun and enjoy our time together. Still there is this shadow of an older daughter not present. I must not be the only one who notices because Ellie, my youngest, has been drawing Callie in her family pictures lately. It makes me smile as I think of how much she would have loved to have a big sister. I would have loved for her to enjoy the special bond between sisters that I share with my own sister, Emily.
We enjoyed a vacation to the same beach when I was pregnant with Callie. We dreamed of bringing her with us the following year.......and we do return with our family and memories of her. Each time it brings back memories.
While we were there my husband bought me a picture that I had been eyeing. It has a bird on a branch with the quote: "Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly." I realize it is quite an old and popular song but the meaning struck me when I first saw it. What does it mean to me? Nighttime is an awful time for a grieving person. We are plagued by the darkness and stillness of the night. We lie awake to re-live our fears, our memories, our pain. The hustle and bustle of the daytime easily drowns these out but at night we are forced to surrender ourselves. So this blackbird obviously is awake and singing (which sounds quite haunting and annoying all at the same time). He has been hurt and suffered some sort of trauma causing his wing to break. In order to fly again he will have to allow some time for his wing to heal. When he is finally ready I'm sure he is going to have to re-learn some things and endure some pain. He'll still fly. He'll still see some magnificent things. It just might be different than he imagined.
It sounds a little bit like grief, doesn't it? We suffer the unimaginable and yet somehow, after a period of time, we have to summon our strength and learn to fly again. We have to live life and move forward even when it hurts. Life may look different than we anticipated but it's still a beautiful and blessed life. So fly, little blackbird, despite the pain and hurt. Actually the very next line in the song adds even deeper meaning... "all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise." I'll leave that for you to think on.....