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Full Nest Syndrome

This article first appeared in issue 35, and was written by Marilyn Loy Turner.

What does mama bird do when her children begin to fly away? I've asked myself that question a lot lately.

My nest began to wither in 1997 when I lost my job through a factory lay-off. Feathers flew in every direction a year later, when my precious mother succumbed to a heart attack in her sleep. Gone forever was the "Mema" bird, the solid foundation of the nest.

"Papa" bird knew his beautiful angel-wife had flown Heavenward and would be waiting for him on the other side. Lung cancer took him to her in July 2000.

My nest was crumbling. Tears kept it moist, grief formed black clouds that hovered over it, dew mingled with the cold mists.

Mike, my oldest son, the talented comedian, singer, song-writer, turned serious at the loss of "Mema" and "Papa" birds. He tested his wings and found he could fly a far distance: far enough to woo and marry a beautiful, compassionate girl named Jessica Powers. The day they walked down the aisle was the day the nest teetered and almost fell from the tree.

Tim, my second son, strong, creative, a whiz at mechanics and electricity, saw his brother prosper outside the nest. He too saw a beautiful plumage in the form of an Indian girl, Rebecca Reeves. They will marry one year from the death of "Papa" bird.

Tragedy has hit the nest. Ill winds have blown it, buzzards have attacked it, rains have tried to drown it, but by the grace of God our nest remains full.

How? Because we rebuild it one memory at a time. The hole ravaged from "Mema" bird's passing was mended with the cooking of her recipes, the displaying of her collectibles, the warmth of her quilts, the memory of her love.

"Papa" bird can be found in the taste of a ripe strawberry, the planting of a beautiful garden, reading his Bible, recalling his jokes.

I have a new job, two new daughters, and a wing that will always be broken. But I can still fly.

Thank you Paul, Elizabeth, Mike, Jessica, Tim and Rebecca, for helping me grow new feathers and for giving me a new song.

This story was posted on 2001-06-15 12:01:01
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