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A week at the Patsy House: Cardinals and Coyotes

Mother’s prayers for snow were answered and we spent over a week at the Patsy House. I painted everyday while Mother fed and watched the birds. It looked like a blizzard outside and the snow kept falling. Mother continued to put food out for the birds and the snow would cover it; more food for birds and another layer of snow. This went on for hours before she finally placed a small box on it’s side, with food inside, determined to feed the birds. Sunday night, just before sunset, I saw what appeared to be a dog running along the back fence line on the south side of the pond. After taking a closer look, it was a Coyote! Eeeeeeek! I called for Mother to come. A few seconds later, another coyote appeared and they paced up and down the fence line. Only slightly freaked out, I decided it may not be a good idea to let the poodle outside.

Briefly, Monday we saw an amazing sunset that appeared through the clouds, hovering over the pasture and glistening on the fields of snow. Shortly afterward, the snow began to fall again. The pond was frozen, completely covered with snow and it was bitterly cold outside. At 6:15 p.m. I was taking a video of the snowfall and a coyote appeared! This time, it was much closer than the night before. It stopped several times and looked toward me, then proceeded to the edge of the pond (guessing he was searching for water). I was astonished how close he was to the house.

The following morning, the sun was shining bright with ice on the trees glistening like they were covered in glitter. Everything outside was sparkling! I was painting at the dining room table when the first Cardinal appeared, shortly after noon. Mother noticed another Cardinal perched on the fence, She was so excited with each one that was landing on the deck. All of a sudden, four males appeared on the fence watching a female Cardinal eat and another female flew in. Had I not captured it with a phote, I am not sure anyone would have believed it. We were in awe of the beauty having so many Cardinals in view and the snow covered background which enhanced the scene. The remaining days consisted of Mother spending hours feeding and watching for her Cardinals. I heard this throughout each day to follow, “Jill, hurry another one”.

Thursday, Mother had to go back home for a Chemo treatment and I was alone for the night. The Patsy house was quiet, I missed Mother more than I realized that one day she was away. I wish that I could write of only the lovely, peaceful and beautiful moments with Mother, but that is not the reality of Cancer. Yes, we are experiencing more happy and joyful moments than not, but the actuality of the disease is still ever present. Finding Mother’s hair that is slowly yet continually falling out and I catch myself with tears filling my eyes. I tell myself to “stop”, remind myself to smile and not let her see me cry. Then I notice how she disappears shortly after eating; nausea and all that follows. Cancer is real; Mother lying on the floor of the bathroom because she is so sick is real. I cannot sugar coat that! However, we will choose to remember the peace of the Patsy House, the Cardinals and even the Coyotes, who for brief moments in time make us forget about Cancer!!

~Jill

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