A few days after my mom passed, I decided to take a walk at a park in Dallas. It was a brisk, cool day in February, so few (if any) other people were around. I scavenged the winded path through some brush and around some trees then took a moment to breathe and feel the quiet. Although it was beautiful, I was having an “It’s cold as fuck” realization and decided to head back to the car. At that moment, an owl flew to a branch of a tree beside me.
We studied each other for a moment, (maybe five seconds in real time) before I carefully reached into my pocket to pull out my phone and snap a picture. I was able to take a pic before she flew off to her next branch, but the pic was blurred and not recognizable enough to share with a friend or gloat to social media. I decided it was best to capture the moment and simply share its brilliance with myself.
Death of a loved one, especially of the one who nurtured me more than any other, has had a profound affect on almost every step forward (sometimes backwards) since that moment of nothingness.
I no longer have the fear of messing up. And I especially miss that fear when I do something I regret. I have learned to trust in myself to make life-long decisions and have (mostly) benefited from the risk and newborn faith.
I recall mimicking my sister last year (as I often do) by following her lead to purchasing a home. I mocked myself for even looking since I had been so “comfortable” residing in my humble apartment in West Hollywood for 25+ years.
After viewing about 15 homes, I came across one that seemed like it was very comfortable… and it had a pool. I walked towards the pool and there was a stone owl planted right by the pool. And that gave me the motivation to say, “maybe this is the one”. And it was.
The moment the owl came to me while on my hike in Dallas was brief, but I have held onto it with little effort for two years. I have decorated my new home with my mom’s owls (she collected animal figurines of all sorts) and placed them accordingly so I can feel her presence in my days. I find them staring at me when I am frozen in thought or lacking inspiration to choose a simpler path.
Today I feel okay. Maybe a little frozen. There is deep sadness, but I am filled with gratitude for everything my mother and father gifted me before (and after) their departures.
So I fearfully turn to The owl statue outside by my pool and wonder “what’s next”? She replies, “Whatever it is, you’re going to be okay”.