Yesterday, I had a friend stop by and visit me after I had had a particularly hard morning. I was just getting off the phone with my mother - crying over the heartaches and challenges of the day - when she knocked on my door. During our visit, she shared with me a beautiful thought that I KNEW was mana from Heaven.
Just a little background: After Bennett's Life Celebration (aka funeral), we proceeded to the cemetery for his burial. Upon arriving at the beautifully appointed spot (I'm seriously in love with our burial sites . . . does that sound funny?), we got out of the limo, hearts heavy with the thought of burying our baby. But Heaven knew our hearts and sent a little gift. Actually, a flock. Right above our Bennett's grave site were 8-10 bald eagles, circling the very spot where we were preparing to bury our child. Now, I grew up in this town (as have my entire extended family) and I must tell you that I NEVER remember seeing ONE bald eagle, let alone an entire FLOCK in the entire surrounding area! But they were soaring above, circling the grave, as if to send a message that Someone above was aware of what was going on below. Aware of a Daddy, a Mommy, two sisters, a best friend and brother and an entire host of loved ones whose hearts were breaking. They soared during the prayer, they circled while we wrote love notes on hundreds of yellow balloons and then - as peacefully as they came - they silently flew away as our bright, love-filled balloons enveloped the sky. It. Was. Spectacular.
Ever since that day, my friend has been contemplating the appearance of eagles at Bennett's grave site. In her research, she found this information (based on American Indian beliefs) that she shared with me:
The Eagle represents spiritual protection, carries prayers, and brings strength, courage, wisdom, illumination of spirit, healing [and] creation. The eagle has an ability to see hidden spiritual truths, rising above the material to see the spiritual. The eagle has the ability to see the overall pattern and the connection to spirit guides and teachers. The eagle represents great power and balance, dignity with grace, a connection with higher truths, intuition and a creative spirit grace achieved through knowledge and hard work.
Isn't that just lovely? I would like to think that all those attributes and gifts are what that flock of eagles symbolized to our family. I have always been awe struck at an eagle's strength, breadth and majesty. I just never sat down to think what they may signify.
I'll tell you what that flock of bald eagles really mean to this Mama, though. It means that I have a Tender, Loving Heavenly Father that loves and holds my heart in Life's most tender moments. It means that there is no such thing as coincidences, just God leaving His signature authorizing that He is aware and active in our lives. And it means that we WILL get through (not around) this, we WILL prevail, and that He doesn't expect or want us to do it alone. He is with us - even in the details - and is watching over Bennett until we will be reunited again. THAT is what that flock of bald eagles mean to me.
And with that knowledge, I too can "mount up with wings as eagles."