Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Helen's corner of heaven

My sister asked me to write something that someone could read at Mom's memorial. This morning I had a dream that I was standing in a field of a wild bird refuge that Mom had created simply by having fed birds out her window all these years of her later life, and hadn't seen because of not being able to get outdoors the past couple of years. There were flocks of herons taking off and coming back, that made me cry.
When I woke up, I was able to finally write something for Mom. Here it is:

Mom’s corner of heaven is filled with birds. And dogs. She is up there with her dogs and birds, feeding them all. Never having to eat a bite herself, she can just feed the dogs and birds as much as they will eat. Forever. She loved throwing out doughnuts and watching birds eat in a circle. She loved walking her dog to the pond and feeding the ducks and geese. Mom rescued more animals in her lifetime than most, beginning way before they called it rescuing and still called it "taking in strays."
Mom had a goat when she was a kid herself. She loved to tell the story of how she about drove her grandma nuts by riding her tricycle with a cow bell on it around and around the outside of their house with the goat following her. The goat came inside the house as well, and jumped on the dresser, among other things.
Mom made sure we always had pets in the house when we were growing up. One Easter we got baby chicks, dyed pink and blue. Mom named them Pink and Blue. They never lived out in the hen house with the other chickens. They roosted on the window sill. Another Easter we got a rabbit. Mom named him Bunny Hop, and he became great friends with our dog Leven. (We rarely got to name our own pets. Mom enjoyed that job.) Another holiday we got two collie puppies: Salt and Pepper. Unfortunately, Mom backed over Pepper, while he was still a pup, but Salt grew up to be a favorite -- until she bit the Sheriff. But strays! There was Neighbor, who came to live with us after his father, Ricky Nelson, a 20 pound yellow tomcat, died. Alberta named Ricky, but Mom named Neighbor because ... he lived next door. Lee, Mom got from the pound. Girl came from the no-kill shelter. And Bird, of course. Everyone knows about Bird. Now they can all be free, out of the cage, off-leash, no more aches or pains, all together, forever, in heaven.

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