On January 16, 2008, almost two years after my son’s death, I was in my new house unpacking some clothing in the master bedroom.
The moving van had not yet arrived and only a few boxes were stacked in the room. I wondered to myself if my son knew I had moved. The spiritual side of me jumped in and I chided myself with, “Of course he knows, Silly.”
Instantly, I heard a strange thrumming noise. After ignoring it for several minutes, I went to investigate. A hummingbird had flown in through the open crack of the sliding door and was trying desperately to escape through one of the four large picture windows in the family room.
As I watched the bird flutter against the large glass window, I knew that I had no way of guiding him down the high wall and out through the door. I certainly didn’t want to traumatize him by waving my arms and possibly chasing him around the great room in an effort to send him outside.
What should I do to rescue this little creature and deliver him to safety?
Suddenly, I felt compelled to walk towards him. He was still fluttering, unsuccessful in his attempt to escape through the window. Since I thought my presence might frighten him, I stopped ten feet back from the window. Then, as if guided by some unseen force, I stretched my palm into the air as high as it would go and closed my eyes.
To my utter amazement, the tiny bird lighted on my fingertips. My breath caught, my heart fluttered and time stood still. I slowly lowered my hand and gazed in awe at the tiny, almost weightless creature before me. He was magnificent. I drank in the iridescent green of his coat, his dainty head and long beak, his tiny spider-like feet, one on the tip of my index finger and one on my middle finger.
“You’re beautiful,” I whispered. “Oh my God, look at you.”
My little friend cocked his head this way and that as if he understood and appreciated my heartfelt compliment. He appeared completely relaxed and calm as if he knew this was exactly what he was supposed to do and where he was supposed to be. I was caught up in the wonder of the moment—his presence, his beauty, the miracle in my hand—when suddenly thoughts of my beautiful son filled my mind.
Instantly, I felt the energy in the room shift as if the very air itself were charged with a strange electrical current. Goose bumps exploded on my body. Then I felt him. Chris was everywhere: in the air and sunlight that poured though the windows, beneath my feet, touching my skin.
I had to ask, even though I already knew, “Chris,” I whispered. “Is that you, buddy? You’re here, aren’t you?”
I knew he was. I knew it in my gut and in my heart and in every fiber of my being. I knew he was behind this little miracle. Not that he was the bird, but it was his way of letting me know that no matter where I lived, he would always be with me.
My heart sang and my spirit soared. My love and gratitude spilled forth, filling the room around me. Life is fascinating and so much, much, more than I had ever been taught. As I drank in the magic of the moment, my gaze drifted back to my hand.
The tiny bird was still patiently perched on my fingertips—a miracle messenger. I felt so small and insignificant in this incredible experience, yet I was so grateful to be part of it, so grateful that as a mother I could ask a heartfelt question of my son and instantly receive confirmation that he had heard me.
Once more I focused on the mission at hand: getting the little bird safely out the door. With the stealth of a cat, I crossed the room, the bird still perched on my fingertips.
Slowly and gracefully I made my way to the sliding door. If only I’d opened it more than twelve inches earlier that morning. Holding my breath, I prayed I would be able to slip through the opening without disturbing him.
Success! Now I was in for another surprise. Once I had stepped outside, I assumed the hummingbird would fly away. Instead, I was dumbfounded to find him still content to stay perched on my fingertips. He was looking around, but obviously waiting for something to happen.
The silence stretched between us as I studied him once again, this little creature of God, a messenger, a miracle. He continued to rest on my fingertips long enough to make me question whether or not he would actually fly away. Next, I did what any rational person would do with a tiny hummingbird perched on their fingers. I spoke to him.
“I am so glad you came to visit me today,” I cooed. “You are welcome to come back any time.”
We stared at each other silently for a moment. I had the distinct feeling that he was waiting for something else as he glanced around patiently and waited for me to figure it out. But what?
Maybe I was supposed to tell him it was okay to leave. I thought about this for a moment. How absurd that seemed. Yet, my intuition nudged me to speak to him again and so I did.
“I’ll be okay, little one. You can go now.”
With that, he looked me straight in the eye, nodded his head and disappeared into the brilliant blue sky. I staggered backward a step or two with my mouth agape and my hand on my heart. What in the world had just happened?
I stood there imprinting every detail to memory, soaking in the magic and grateful for the moment, grateful for the knowledge that my son was here with me. To this day those precious moments are as vivid and real as the instant they happened.
The memory of this experience always lightens my heart and reminds me to look for the possibility of an instant miracle from our loved ones on the other side.
Prior to that story, hummingbirds had become a regular messenger from my son. People asked me why my son would choose a hummingbird as a meaningful sign of after death communication and a way to connect with me and others whom he knew and loved. My answer came when my daughter, Kristin discovered five years after he crossed that Chris’s snowboard had a huge picture of a hummingbird on it.