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Birthday Gifts

Immersed in hot bubbles, watching God’s magnificent display of foliage, trees, clouds and birds, I inhale, hoping to re-ground my spirit, my soul, my mind once again, as the bird songs play in the background.

It’s my birthday. A day of celebration, of gratitude and reflection of the life and love that surrounds me.

Submerged in water, I gently close my eyes, bow my head and whisper a prayer to God– all I want is a hug from my mother and to feel my father’s spirit. I need them. I need them, I whisper, with a tear rolling down my cheek. For in them, I am complete. No gifts, no flowers– just them.

God answered without delay. Within the hour, a Blue Jay appeared outside my window. Perched on a branch with his back turned, he gently turned his head and looked straight into my eyes. There it was, my dad’s spirit. His loving presence. I knew it was him because he also came to visit after my dad's burial in 2016.

The blue jay and I sat there for a minute in stillness. I sat in gratitude and asked him to watch over me. He sat there, almost waiting on me to finish talking– basking in the power of my remembrance of his love.

Then, I walked into the kitchen, and there she was, standing there, then greeting me with a hug. It's been a difficult time in our relationship lately. Some days it's like an unsavory spirit has created an ugly and hurt-filled space between us. So today, all I wanted was a hug. I wanted us to forgive; I wanted us to love.

I put my arms around her and slowly pulled her closer. She didn't notice but I closed my eyes and imagined– no praying for a better tomorrow.

Today is my birthday. It is a day of celebration, gratitude and reflection. My heart is full. #Navigatingcourage

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