Look To The SKY

January the fifth of this year my father left his Parkinson’s ravaged body behind and joined his family, his friends , his Lord and his dog in heaven. I am so happy for him yet I miss him terribly.

I have been his primary caregiver for the last six years. Seven days a week. Twenty-four hours a day. Three hundred sixty five days a year. My life revolved around his needs and I was proud to have the opportunity to care for this wonderful man.

He was the kind of father I wish I had been to my son and he was the kind of son I wish I had been to my parents. He was a man of his word and his strength of character were unimpeachable. He carried himself with military bearing yet he was approachable and gentle. He was the essence of my existence for the last six years.

If he told you the sun would not rise in the morning you had better carry a flashlight the next day. When we were children he would tell us that one day he would own a house in the mountains. He was born in upstate New York and yearned for that environment.He bought a house in the north Georgia mountains and we still own it.

Many times walking around the lake nestled in the pines on top of the mountain Daddy would marvel at the pair of hawks that hunted that area.Even more so as the Parkinson’s progressed. He would watch them and smile and tell me that if he could choose to be any animal it would be a hawk.They were proud. They mated for life. They were good parents. And most importantly for him they were agile and free.

I am telling you this so you will understand what is following. The day after my father died a hawk flew in to my sisters screened porch. He didn’t fly in the door as one would expect. He flew through the screen itself! It had to have taken a tremendous amount of force to accomplish this. It was perfectly content to sit on the rocking chair as if it were just visiting.

Rocking Chair Cropped

It did not panic and when my sister opened the door so it could fly out it had no interest in leaving. Finally my sister garnered the nerve to gently pick this magnificent creature up with her hands. She carried it outside and placed it in the back of the truck where it could fly away when it got ready. Instead of flying away the hawk perched on the roof of the car as if it were wanting to speak.

photo-52

I believe this was my fathers way of telling us he is alright. My sisters life revolves around animals. She is founder and president of a very active animal rescue group. It is only natural that Daddy would pick her to show himself to in the form of this bird. Do I think he remains in the form of a hawk? Of course not. But from this day forward when I look to the sky and see one of those majestic creatures floating effortlessly on the breeze I will think of my father.

On car

Look to the sky son

tell me what you see

A bird in flight daddy

sailing on the breeze

My eyes are failing son

describe him to me

His tail is on fire daddy

and he is proud and free

Sit with me son and let us talk

The bird you describe is a red tail hawk

When you think I am gone

do not sit and grieve

for I will be like the hawk

sailing on the breeze

by
Eddie Deeb

 

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Aside | This entry was posted in death and dying, end of life care giving, poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Look To The SKY

  1. sorry for your loss. thanks for sharing these beautiful words about your father.

  2. Such a beautiful account of a sweet, holy experience.

  3. kayga48 says:

    How beautiful Ed! Patti is the only one I could even imagine gently taking this hawk out so carefully so he could be free.

  4. What an incredible experience, thank you for sharing it with us.

    I, too, will think of your father when I look to the sky and see a hawk, thanks to your words. Of course, I didn’t know your father, but it sure sounds like he was a gentleman I would have been very honored to have known.

    • You would have loved him! He was the only GREAT man I have ever known. Two days ago one of my sisters ,the one with the hawk , said that while she took her dogs for a walk the hawk flew at eye level back in forth in front of her and when she got home he was sitting in the driveway waiting for her.
      Then yesterday my other sister said she was talking to Daddy’s sister on the phone , our aunt , who said a large hawk has just landed on a limb while she is on the phone and was just staring at her. Let me say that none of these people live in rural areas.
      What a trip , right?

  5. terry1954 says:

    this brought tears to my eyes, as the hawk knew and the fact that your daddy lost the battle. I believe so much in the animals. Two examples I have are 19 days before my mother passed a way crows flew at me driving and one came flying into my windshield and cracked it. the second time was when my daddy died in my arms. i was outside crying and waiting for the funeral home to come when all of a sudden loud screeching noises could be heard. I looked up into the skies and two trees were filled with crows. Their noises could be heard around the lake I am sure. Within five minutes every crow disappeared and silence fell around me. My daddy’s soul was now in heaven. I believe very much in the Indian beliefs about animals. I watch for signs with weather through birds and animals. I loved your post!

    • So do I believe. My great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee and a lot was passed down. In fact , she is buried in Tennessee but they would not allow her to be buried with her family. She was buried separately in the “colored” section. That blows my mind.

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. That bird was so comfortable with my sister. Ifit weren’t for the pictures nobody would believe it.

      • terry1954 says:

        a lot of people think I am nuts but I don’t care. I believe what I believe. I do not understand the burial thinking for your great grandmother. Why not with her family?

      • Back then cemeteries were segregated , at least in the south. Since my great grandfather was white he was buried in the white section. She was a person of color being full blooded Cherokee so she had to be buried in a different section. Some things are still like that down here in Georgia , except they seem to be a matter of choice. Black folks use separate funeral homes than white folks. It is just an unspoken occurrence.

      • terry1954 says:

        I study slavery as one of my hobbies. I didn’t realize that Cherokee was considered segregated. It is sad that this still exists today. In my eyes we are all created equal

  6. We still have a long way to go before we could ever make things right to the Native Americans. What we did was nothing more than genocide. The Cherokee even tried to work through our court system. The Supreme Court of the USA ruled that the Cherokee was an independent nation with defined borders and central government and that the people of Georgia and the Carolina’s had no right to their land. Then in an unprecedented move President Andrew Jackson told the people of Georgia and the Carolina’s to disregard the courts ruling and “burn them out.” Thus began The Trail Of Tears.

  7. Sharon Deeb Kurby says:

    Eddie, I want to tell you a little story. I went to Aunt Bells’ house everyday at 4p.m. for supper. We were sitting on her deck after supper one day. She looked up to the sky and there were 2 Hawks flying around above her deck. They circled many times as we watched and finally flew away. Aunt Martha had passed away also. Aunt Bells looked at me and said, “There is my precious brother, Eddie, and my sweet sister-in-law, Martha”. I was speechless as I looked into her beautiful eyes. Uncle Eddie was known as the “peacemaker” of the Deeb family. Boy, did he ever have a big job!!! Your Aunt Martha was known as “the boss”. When she spoke, everyone listened and did what she asked. They did love coach other so much. They are greatly missed!!!

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