Today was my first day back at work after a week’s vacation. That first day back always sucks, especially if it’s on a Saturday. Good thing I enjoy my job, and it was not beach weather, so wasn’t as horrible as it could have been.
I actually had a great work day. One of my patient’s was new to me. She’d come home from the hospital a few days ago and was doing well. As I powered up my computer and got things settled, she pointed out a sparrow on her deck railing. It looked as though it lifted her spirits to see it. I told her, “Birds are messengers, you know”. She looked at me wide-eyed. “Really?” She looked like her eyes were tearing up a bit. I never really know who I should say stuff like that to, but it seems to be working out lately. She said, “I feel like there’s something Native Americans make out of feathers and hang on their walls”. I told her they were dream catchers. I explained the story of the web catching the bad thoughts before they can get inside your soul, while the feathers allow the good thoughts to travel down them into you. I told her I was Native American and had actually just made a dream catcher a few days ago for a friend who was struggling with thoughts…(not something I normally do…only my second one ever). She went on to tell me of her daughter’s sudden passing a few years ago, and showed me the shrine in her living room for her. I asked if she had ever found any feathers outside on her deck and she said no. She lives in an assisted living building. We poked around on the deck for a few minutes, and I realized we hadn’t done any of our nursing tasks, so said, “OK, let’s get to work here. I can’t be talking to you about feathers all day”. She replied, “But it’s the highlight of my day”. She had a yearning, almost pleading look. I paused and smiled softly at her. Her daughter has been gone two years now, but I know she is still grieving. I can imagine you never stop grieving the loss of a child.
I went about taking care of my nursing tasks….listening to her heart and lungs, teaching her about her medications, answering questions, etc. I glanced around the room and happened to notice a vase with many feathers in it. I asked about them and she said she’d picked them up on the grounds of the facility she lives in. I told her, “So, you’ve been getting messages this whole time, and just haven’t noticed”. She smiled and cried at the same time. “I guess I have”. I could see her connecting with her daughter as she said that. She told me she feels her daughter around her frequently, especially at the door to her deck. I said, “Then that means she’s there.” She nodded. We looked at her feather collection together. They were mostly white and gray ones, but two from a Blue Jay. I’ve found 3 Blue Jay feathers over the past few weeks, and I’ve never found them before in my life. I thought that was kind of interesting.
I wrapped up the visit, and she again told me it was the highlight of her day. I could tell she wanted me to stay longer, and if I didn’t have a full day ahead of me, I probably would have. I think it’s pretty cool that talking about feathers can make someone feel so good, especially after they were feeling so bad. I went about my day and visited 3 more people. Upon leaving the 3rd one, I found a Blue Jay feather in the grass, right in my path…and I smiled. I’m at the point where messages bring me joy, even when I don’t know what they mean. Just like with her, messages can make me feel so good, even after I’ve been feeling so bad.