Thought I knew what today was going to be like. Wake up later after a fantastic night with friends on the beach, pack & head to Charlotte.
Then I got a text. A friend, who has discovered life isn’t what she thought & thankfully she values herself above just accepting things. So lunch, then a trip to get a new phone number for her followed by packing up her apartment and helping her separate the his & hers in the marriage it seems he gave up on. Sad but I am so proud that she realizes that as much as it hurts, she deserves better. No man should ever threaten a life of someone he “loves”. Thought I would write a great post on how amazing the spirit of a smart woman is in tough times if we choose to.
But then my strength was tested.
Maybe it was the sound of budgies chirping in a nearby apartment as we hauled trash bags down the stairs. Or maybe it was feeling guilty for being away a good bit of yesterday with work & then dashing off for the night. Whatever it was I decided to just come straight home instead of going to do a dozen other things I thought I should.
As soon as I turned the knob to lock the door behind me, I knew something was wrong. Too quiet. None of the birds greeted me. Looked over & Bongo was on the floor of the cage in a strange way. Bijou rest alone on the top perch instead of side by side his partner in crime. Odd.
He was slow to move when I reached for him. Just this morning he snuggled up on my chest and we swayed the way we do most days. I scratched the back of his head where the feathers were slightly spikey this time of molt. He was barely able to lift his head up to look at me.
I cuddled him and he winked at me. Our way of saying “I love you”. A game we played since those first weeks when he started trusting me. Its common of budgie flirting. His wink was slow. I knew what was happening. I knew there was nothing I could do at this point. The tears fell. All I could do was let him nuzzle up to me as long as he could. Stroking his feathers my heart broke in two.
No. This is my blue bird of happiness. The one who loved me first. The one who made my dream since a kid of owning a bird come true. The one who captured my heart so strongly I opened it up to doing everything I could to help other birds. The first “rescue” I agreed to was a companion for Bongo so he wouldn’t have to be alone while I went to work.
My little adventurer. He explored and soared anywhere he could. Til he managed to open up a wound on his wing. Then we learned how to care for a healing bird. The medicines and how to hold to apply. The trust deepened. He seemed to realize that all though the strange things I was doing to him were annoying, I was trying my best to help him. We were told he wouldn’t fly again. Wings got clipped so he would have an easier time healing. I got to be his way of getting around.
Til the feathers grew back. Then although he had to regain the strength his determination kicked in. He jumped. He hopped. Soon he was flying short distances & then loops around the room like old times.
He never spoke a word. Tended to be quiet, but sometimes he chirped or squawked and I knew which were annoyed, scared or happy noises. I knew he was sweet enough to where if someone wanted to “hold a parrot”, he was the one I could trust to step up on their finger without a chance of a bite. Sweetheart as he was, would rather fly away than to chomp unless he felt in danger. Even at the vet, he preferred to hold on tight “with one of the best grips” he had ever seen on a budgie! Trimming his nails was a challenge, but he sooner or later let me do it – as long as he also let me know he did not enjoy this! Followed by a cuddle.
No. He is not leaving. He will fight. He will rest on my chest and take this nap & then be back to normal again. No more of this weakness. No more stumbling. No more of this slow winking while I cry & whispered how I loved him so much.
But soon the winking stopped. The body seemed to relax in a way that it never does when we are still here. There was nothing I could do but sob.
The happiness was over.
Still the other birds were silent. Even Baxter seemed to know to give Bongo & I our space. Maybe they sensed the change too.
All I could go was hold him and hope that it wasn’t really happening right now like this. If I put him down, it was real. It was over. Then what? How do we go back? How do we stop this? nothing can.
So Bongo will forever be my cuddle bird, my blue bird on my shoulder. The blue bird of happiness that stole my heart and I never want it back.
Not sure how long I sat there holding him crying. Bijou finally ended up flying over onto my shoulder & still silent (which is completely unnatural for Bijou) just looked at me & Bongo back and forth. Reminded me that I still have birds here needing me.
So the cage has been cleaned, Bijou is back chattering up a storm (took him an hour at least to get back to words instead of just sounds) and Bongo’s favorite swing and bell have been put away for now. Life goes on, just not the same as it was before. Now what?
Guess as they say, you will never forget your first.
Sweet dreams my lil Bongo.