My grandmother on Moms side was one of the last NA's to be forcefully adopted by a white family, in the 1910's. She was 12, and didn't stay very long. She left on her own when she was 14 and joined a traveling circus, eventually becoming a fortune teller, and later, the accountant who dealt with landowners, renting the property as the circus traveled, and paying the employees. She did this until she was in her late 20's and married to my grandfather. Much later in life, she became an RN and diabetic educator, setting the ground work for what would later be the cornerstone of diabetes research in America, she taught doctors how to care for their Type 1 Diabetic patients and opened up the first research lab devoted specifically to Type 1 in 1977, Huntsville, AL. All that aside, she was Creek to the core, with leathery skin and pitch black hair, I don't think she ever got a grey hair before her death at age 68 (from Type 2 Diabetes).
She had Mom and her two sisters, and two grandchildren. Me, and my cousin. She was a spit fire, I remember her temper and also her ability to understand things that others couldn't - like how prejudices between races and sexes were wrong. She was ahead of her time to be sure.
When it came to her family background, she was tight lipped. It hurt for her to remember her childhood. She only said that the reason she ran away was because her white parents tried to keep her from speaking Creek, tried to force her into accepting Christ, and destroyed her relationship with her father and other relatives by moving her far away from the reservation. Her father searched for her all his life. She did say that she found him when she became an adult, and that he died not long after. All I know of him, is that for extra money, he would pose for photographs in his feathers and native attire. Grandma had one that she showed to me. He was a regal looking fellow. I remember when she was dying, after her stroke and before she stopped breathing, she rambled on for hours in a waking sleep, in her native language. No one had ever heard her speak it until then, except when she called us children things like "usdee". Whenever we heard "US-DEE!" we knew someone was about to get it because it usually meant either me or my cousin were busted doing something, lol.
She told me once when I was 10 ( a year before she passed) that I would have 4 children, and that the fourth would be Type 1 Diabetic. She was dead to rights. Yes, she knew genetics. But she was intuitive, too. She taught me how to interpret dreams, without thinking it was anything out of the ordinary. She made me think it was a necessary part of life...listening to the symbolic messages given in your dreams. It wasn't until I was older that I realized, white people - like my dads family for example - thought it was down right weird to do that. They also didn't see colors around people, animals, plants, or rocks. By the time I knew what an "aura" was, the ability was muted in me by people who told me it was not normal. But it did come in handy once when I was 11, I'll tell that story later.
This blog was supposed to be about birds Sorry, I was having fun getting lost in memories of grandma. Grandma told all of us that when a woman was pregnant, the babys soul would arrive on the wings of a bird. Like I said, she died when I was 11 years old. I never forgot what she said though.
With every one of my children, I had a visit from a bird. The first time it happened was when I was 5 months along with my oldest. I was cooking spaghetti in Moms kitchen, and we had the back door open since it was good weather. I remember this crazy red bird, just an average local Virginia "native" flying in, landing on Moms kitchen counter strangely close to me, checking me out for a brief few seconds, and then flying back out the door. My Mom and me both gasped, and we both thought the same thing at the same time. "Well, she always said a baby's soul would be brought to you, by a bird." It was freaky. I felt my daughter kick me for the first time about a day later. For the record, she never stopped kicking me after that.
With my second child, I was working deep inside a glass plant. I was at my station washing some glass when this, again, a local bird (this time from Alabama because I had moved there a couple years before becoming pregnant), flew into the plant and landed on my work station! This bird had to fly literally 400 feet or more inside the plant just to get to me! (This glass factory was an entire acre in size and I worked about 2/3 the way inside the door, do the math). By this time, I knew exactly what it meant and when it landed, I smiled at it calmly. I was 5 and a half months along.
With my third, I was in Texas. My (now exhusband) and I had just moved there for his tour of duty in the army. We were still unpacking, the house was pretty much bare. I was putting up dishes when I saw this bird flapping around the back double-glass door, it was trying desperately to get in. Then we heard this awful THUNK!!!I shrieked, and my husband came running. I was in tears, telling him, "The bird hit the window!! Oh my God what if it was THE bird??" (By this time my husband knew the story). He went outside and picked it up. Poor thing was out cold. It stirred though, shook its head as if it had been knocked silly, and then flew away. I was 5 months along. A month later we got word from ultrasound that there had been a twin who died in utero. My son was born unable to maintain his own blood sugar or his body temperature. He was very sensitive to light and sound, and needed extra care. Other than that, I delivered what was left of the twin 6 minutes after him.
With my fourth, it was kinda funny. I had no idea I was pregnant. Since I was still nursing my son, I hadn't missed a menstrual cycle (I didn't have one after his birth). I wasn't tired, moody, hungry, or craving anything, and I didn't have heart burn. In fact, I had never had more energy or felt stronger in my entire life. I was walking everywhere I needed to go and tilling the ground, planting grass seed, losing weight and feeling great. My children and I were walking in a grocery store down the cereal aisle, when a bird flew in the store and landed briefly on top of a box of Raisin Bran. I remember saying out loud to my children "Cool. Somebody must be pregnant." I found out a month later that that somebody was me - and I was already 24 weeks along!
With the first bird, I wondered if it was my grandma. I didn't wonder with the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (once I knew the bird was mine lol). But I do wonder if the "bird" thing, is just a personal way of my children's souls being brought to me, or is this worldwide?