Several days after my beautiful, lively mother stepped into eternity, my husband hung several bird feeders outside our kitchen window: ” . . . to bring you joy and remind you of her,” he smiled when he came inside. How perceptive his gift! In the 20 years that have flown by since her death, I have delighted in the daily menagerie that flutters around the feeder-laden Pines within easy view of my kitchen workspace.

And each year, as our garden grows to provide more shelter, I am the excited observer of new varieties of feathered visitors joining the regulars at the fly-in diner. In recent weeks, we have enjoyed visits from Brown Thrashers, a Rufous-sided Towhee couple, a teeny Brown Creeper, Eastern Phoebes, a Cedar Waxwing and, most unexpectedly, a Baltimore Oriole! The vivacious activity outside my window is a daily reminder–a living memorial–of my lovely, joyous mother.

Perhaps you are grieving the loss of someone dear to your heart. May I encourage you to establish a “live” memorial in their honor–a bird feeder or two, a patch of wildflowers, a graceful tree, a flowering evergreen shrub–close by, so that each day you can enjoy vibrant beauty “in living memory” of your precious loved one?
Gratefully contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener’s wife (& joyful bird watcher)

With deep gratitude for my mother, Miriam Keener Buhr

(January 13, 1926 ~ October 6, 1999), and mother-in-law, Winifred “Joy” Hayman Hanselman (July 3, 1922 ~ December 10, 1999).