I have been writing this in my head for months.
In January, I started running again. I did not like the person I had become physically and mentally after Christopher died. Losing my brother changed me. Changed the way I see the world and the way I see other people. It’s also taught me about my ability to endure things. Living through his death and all that followed made me stronger.
While running I think of him a lot…if I am being honest I think of him even when I am not running. I am thinking of him now, and will think of him when I drive to work, cook dinner, or put my children to bed. But back to my point here…when I am running and want to give up I think to myself, “Don’t stop you’ve come so far, you can go a bit further,” and then my thoughts lead back to Christopher. IF I can endure his death and living without him…I can finish this run.
One evening I was running up an incredibly steep hill, and talking to myself … “C’mon you can do it. Just imagine at the top of the hill is your brother and you will see him.” I lowered my head, pumped my arms, and leaned into the hill pushing my legs to run faster. I wasn’t letting up until I reached the top. Of course, I knew Christopher would not be there, but I let my mind wander to our heavenly reunion and how I will run to him. Oh, how happy I will be. I can hear his laugh now and see his smile.
As I got closer to the top of this hill I noticed a bird…but not just any bird. It was a bright red bird sitting on top of a white picket fence. Surely, it could not be a red bird…all of this running has made me delirious. I got closer to the top and see in fact it was a red bird waiting for me at the top of the hill. All I could do was smile and let out a giggle...and say out loud "I see you, Christopher." You may be wondering why I was so happy to see a red bird.
They say a red bird appears when an angel is near. I know in my heart God sent that bird to me at that very moment, to comfort me and encourage me. To keep going…“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2
*Look in the bottom left-hand corner and you will see a red bird in flight. This wasn't the red bird from my run, but red birds visit me all the time since my brother, Christopher, entered Heaven.