A knuckle thump was heard at the kitchen window. Little feet slid along the laminate floor to peak outside. Eyes are squinted, and he says, “I’m not sure, but is that a bird?” I was hoping not. He held the curtain open for me and I saw a robin’s wing stretched to the heavens as its body laid across the wet patio pavers. I reached for my latex-free gloves, with a son as a shadow, and we made our way outside.
I scooped Robin up, and held him in my blue gloved hand. His eyes were wide open, his chirps were chaotic, his body was tense and his breaths were labored. I did the only thing that I knew how. I prayed. Then, we prayed. I watched Robin as fear infused him. My son asked if I could make him not die. Ever since my son’s near-drowning accident, he believes I’m miracle worker – even though, I explained to him that we don’t know God’s plan, just to hold faith with both hands. And now, all we could do was to hold Robin. Robin’s breaths became labored and his body relaxed. I sent my son into the house to get a cup of water so that we could drizzle his beak. He took the task urgently, sprinting to the house. I was secretly hoping that he wouldn’t return too quickly for there wasn’t much time left for Robin. I heard a round full of chirps from the robins that had perched on the holly bushes. I suppose it was their version of Amazing Grace. Then the miracle came.
I watched Robin stretch his head true north and let out a chirp. Then, he fully fanned out both wings as though he would soon take flight. I thought maybe. Just maybe. My eyes recorded the tiered pattern on his grey wings and the starched zebra tail – and how beautifully, God-made was he. As my son came back with the water, Robin’s wings closed and they tucked themselves back into his golden chest that was still. His eyes were half-mass and his body was void of any life. He was gone.
We both said nothing. We knew that he crossed to heaven’s side, watching the same sunset that was creating shadows onto the patio pavers. My son was not sad. He help prepare Robin’s resting spot.
Witnessing Robin’s wings wide open was a true miracle to me. Witnessing the way my son was nurturing is promising.
All is grace.