Tag Archives: hope is the thing with feathers

A tiny, little, amazing story.

9 Apr


Today, as I unloaded from school pick up,

doing my normal routine of getting my daughter out of the passenger side of the car,

slinging her backpack over my shoulder,

walking her around the car to my side where I get her brother out in his incredibly heavy infant carrier,

when my daughter said, “Wait. I want to see my brother.”

And it stopped me in my tracks;

I got that incredible feeling of happiness and awe at my new team.

I thought about how I’ve never myself uttered those words.

So I decided I was going to blog about it.

And I brought them inside and I went to take him out of his carseat,

and she came up to him, stroked his arm, and starting to sing, this will be our year.

Smile for me, little one.

She sang all the words and he giggled and cooed.

And then, at that moment, a feather fell from the sky, onto the pile of us.

I swear to you.

After somewhat of a hard time  this week, I am comforted to know that my angels are

applauding my team, just as loudly, and just as clearly

as I am.


Today I realize

28 Feb

that I could use a bit of strength.

photo (88)So I am arming myself accordingly.


When it rains…

2 Aug

The past few weeks have been trying.

I have felt overwhelmed.

And sometimes lonely. And sometimes scared.

It has been hard. For reasons that I have written about on here

and for other reasons that I have not.

And I have not chosen to share certain things because

I like to use this space to express my gratitude,

and to talk about sparkly shoes and dance parties and princesses.

And because there are some things that I’ve chosen to keep private.

But, as hard as this summer has been in some ways,

it has also been very beautiful.

I am so grateful that my loved ones, who were once ailing, are now healing.

I am overwhelmingly thankful for our incredible support system.

I am blessed.

Because as hard as much of this summer has been, it has also given me so many moments of wonder;

my daughter now speaking in small sentences

Hi Lola, woof woof!

No no, Ziggy, shhh!

And she learned to walk.

My baby walks!

And she sings.

My baby sings!

And she takes off her glasses and cleans them with a tissue.

My baby isn’t a baby!




So tonight, as my feelings of fear crept back up into my throat,

threatening to choke me,

I decided to quiet the noise and take my girl for an evening walk to the park.

And as I walked, my baby walked by my side, and she stopped, right next to this.

Once again, my angels have come to the rescue.

And as soon as I saw that small, black feather, I could breathe again.

And I realized that everything will be OK.

I had my hand around my daughter’s tiny, delicate wrist, as she led me across the park

and I knew that we’d be fine.

We’d have to.

I guess sometimes I have to stop taking care of my little baby turned little girl,

and give her a minute to take care of me.

So yes, our rainstorm may continue,

the skies may open

and pelt us with hail

but as long as I have her hand to hold,

I know

I will be fine.

Just fine.

“Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers”

26 Feb


There were a lot of changes–

a lot of new

in the land of mom this week.

Having a lot to be thankful for

also comes with some major adjustments.

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

I didn’t write that.

Ralph Waldo Emerson did.

And, he’s right.


He’s Ralph Waldo Emerson,

and my 11th grade English teacher,

my favorite teacher of all time,

told me so.

So, we’re hanging in there.

And trying to adapt to new schedules,

new challenges,

some new luxuries

and the new sacrifices that come with them.

And, when I’ve felt any doubts,

I’ve been reminded of my strength;

I have been followed, this week, by a small fleet of feathers,

and one strategically placed lucky penny.

I know we’ll be all right.

“These changes are exciting.”

I didn’t write that.

My husband did.

And he’s right.


He’s my husband.

He has four years on me, so he must know at least one thing I have yet to learn.

Either way,

these changes,

they are a’happenin’ whether I like them or not

(which I do,

and don’t),

so I might as well cope.

So,  I guess it’s time for me to “turn and face the strange”.

I didn’t write that.

David Bowie did.

And, he’s right.


He’s the man.

So strange,

here I come.


15 Feb

and in case you thought that my Nanny missed out on all of the fun

on what she once told me was her very favorite holiday….

She most certainly did not.

Pennies from heaven

23 Jan

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for feathers.

They mean something to me;

they serve as signs from the Universe and they remind me that my lost loved ones are near.

They are a part of my deeply superstitious nature,

and I believe in their power.

But, feathers are not the only symbols that have a deep, profound place in my being.

There are, in fact, many signs that I keep an eye out for,

to let me know that my angels are watching,

or that strength is near

or that everything is going to be OK.

So, while I’m on the lookout for feathers,

my eyes are also peeled for pennies.

My Nanny also had a thing for pennies.

When she’d find a heads up penny on the ground, she would call them “Pennies from heaven”.

I wrote about this in my college Thesis,

entitled, “Just a Little Bit of Dancing: A Cubist Family Portrait Through Writing.”,

which was a collage of love and life and loss in my dad’s family.

My Nanny’s love of pennies was something that many family members would mention when interviewing them for my Thesis works.

It was something that I held on to.

I grew to love pennies,

and to check them out, whenever I would spot them.

In the weeks leading up to my finding out that I was pregnant, I saw scores of feathers;

They were everywhere I’d look. I knew that they meant something.

But, just in case I needed a little extra proof, my Nanny left me one extra clue,

not only to let me know that yes, I was expecting,

but that she would be there for me,

and with me,

every step of the way.

The night before I was to receive my pregnancy test results,

I was jumping out of my skin. I could focus on nothing else, especially not the graduate work that I had to complete. But, I had to do some reading for a “Vernacular writing” seminar, and had not yet been able to find the book I needed, so I put all of my energy into the quest to find it.

Finally, I was able to track it down at my local library, but only in large print. Fine.

That would do.

I perused the large print book shelves until I found the title that I needed, and when I grabbed the book, I noticed that there was a slight space between some of the pages.

I folded it open to find that there was something stuck in page 36.

A penny.

Heads up.

From the year my husband was born.

Nanny was telling me that she was with me. That it would all be OK.

And it was.

Nanny came around throughout my pregnancy, leaving feathers to let me know that all was well.

One, most powerful instance came when she visited both me and my dad.

In trying to find something to wear, I reached into the back of my closet and found a sweater that she had bought for me before she passed away, nearly 12 years earlier. She allowed me to pick it out from the Adult GAP, which was, of course, a really big deal at the time. And, because it was something I needed to grow into,

it still fit.

I wore that sweater on a date night with my husband.

He brought me, on a whim, to a neighborhood sushi restaurant.

He didn’t realize that it was the sushi restaurant I had always gone to with my Nanny and Poppy. It was our special place. They were the people with whom I tried Ikura and green tea ice cream, and it was just our thing.

So sitting there, in that back room,

at the same table that I had shared with my Nanny,

in the sweater that she had bought for me over a decade earlier,

I felt her.

I felt her presence.

I felt her excitement.

I felt her love.

I was anxious to tell my dad, and called him first thing the next morning.

My mom picked up the phone, so I began to tell her the story, unable to contain my emotions.

As I was saying the words, “Nanny is around.”, my dad picked up the phone, interrupting us,

saying the exact same thing.

“Bex, Nanny came into my dream last night.”

And he went on to tell me that she was in the dream, at the hospital when the baby was born, and that he saw her holding my child,

a little girl,

with blue eyes.

I cried.

She was, most certainly, around.

At that time, I said, “Well, I believe it. But, let’s wait and see how my baby turns out to be. We will see if Nan was right, after all.”

5 months later,

my baby was born,

during a scary, unplanned C-Section

as my Nanny’s favorite song filled the room,

having come on the radio,

just in time for her to wail along.

She is a girl.

She has blue eyes.

Nanny was right.

She always was.

And so, this week, when I started to see pennies around, I didn’t have to question whether or not it was my Nanny.

I just knew.

So, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me when my father picked up the phone in the morning,

to tell me that Nanny had visited his dream once more, and that he got to watch her playing with my daughter.

Nor did it come as a surprise to him when I told him that I had been feeling her around.

That I had been seeing feathers.

And pennies.

One of my students even brought in a book for me to read, about a grandparent and grandchild, and their love for lucky pennies.

Okay, Nan.

I get it.


But, no sign was as powerful as the one she sent me last night,

as I saw my daughter crawl over to an object on the floor and begin to play with it.

I ran to grab the small trinket from her hands,

before it found it’s way to her mouth,

and had to gasp when I saw what it was.

A lucky penny.

Held heads up.

From the year that I was born.

A penny from heaven.


If you know me, you know that I have a thing for my angels.

They mean the world to me.

I depend on them for strength and I believe that they watch over my daughter,

as she plays each day

and as she sleeps each night.

And no matter what you believe,

I know, in my bones,

that there is a reason why these signs appear for me;

they keep my loved ones alive,

and let me know that they are not missing anything about this most special time in our lives.

And for this, I am not only blessed,

but I am also


and giving thanks

25 Nov

Today, I will be

watching the first snowflakes fall,

baking brownies,

staying in PJs,

having dance parties to holiday tunes,

kissing my baby’s little nose,

kissing my baby’s little toes,

lingering over my blueberry bagel with butter,

sharing laughter with treasured family members,

watching the parades,

remembering this day last year,

telling the people in my life how much they mean to me,

crawling around with my crazy dogs,

playing dress-up,

feasting, feasting, feasting,

keeping my eyes out for feathers,

and giving thanks.

And how about you?

“hope is the thing with feathers…”

25 Jun

I believe in angels.

I don’t mean that I believe in the winged icons that hang with halos as holiday ornaments.

I believe in benevolent forces, the spirits of those we’ve loved and lost, that watch over us, protect us and guide us through our days.


When I’ve needed help, or dug down deep for strength, I’ve been given a sign that a loved one was with me.


My grandmother passed away when I was thirteen.

That year I became a Jewish adult, as I became a Bat-Mitzvah.

A new woman was added to our family.

And, sadly, a woman was lost.

We said goodbye to our matriarch,

As Life took away the centerpiece of our own dining room table.


Before she passed away, when she knew that she would be leaving us,

We asked her how she was feeling.

She said that she knew she would be back.

She knew she would be around,

Able to look after us.

She told us that she would come back as a bird.

We asked her how we would know she was there, since birds are all around us.

She told us to look for feathers.


Since that time, I’ve been blanketed by feathers when I’ve needed the warmth.

Feathers have reminded me to have strength.

Feathers have given me faith.


In the two weeks before I found out I was pregnant,

A wish that I hoped with every ounce of being would come true,

I saw at least 20 feathers.

They were on my front porch.

They were on the sidewalk, as I walked the dogs down the street.

They were poking out of my shirt

(and this was August, mind you….it was not as if I was wearing a down coat).

So before I officially knew that I was pregnant,

I just knew.

As I’ve said, even though I knew, in my head and in my heart, I didn’t believe that my wish had actually come true until the nurse called me on that late August day and said nothing besides, “Congratulations, dear.”


I called my husband at work.

He answered, nervously.

He knew that I would be receiving my test results in that hour.

I asked him if he was ready to be a daddy.

He didn’t say a word, just sobbed softly.

“I knew it,” he told me. “There’s a giant, brown feather lying across my desk.”


That feather told us more than those HCG blood test results ever could.

I was pregnant.

Our dream was coming true.

Our loved ones were watching, celebrating from above.


I saw many birds and many feathers throughout my pregnancy.

They always just appeared,

just when I needed them.


The night that I had my daughter, I didn’t see any feathers. I could barely see anything. It was my fourth trip into labor and delivery. Nothing was going as planned.

When they wheeled me into the OR in the middle of the night, I was lying on the operating table, and I felt scared.

I didn’t feel particularly strong.

I couldn’t find my faith.

When my husband was allowed to come back in the room he held my hand and didn’t let go.

The anesthesiologist, peering over the tall blue draping that separated my head from my abdomen, told me that it was time.

The baby would be coming now.

I still felt scared.

Then, my husband squeezed my hand and told me to listen to the radio. I hadn’t noticed that the radio had been playing the entire time that I was in the OR.

My ears perked up.

It was “Desperado”, by The Eagles.

It was my grandmother’s favorite song.

At that moment, I knew that we would be ok.

The chorus of our own angels were with us, serenading my daughter as she entered into the world.

Don Henley sang,

It may be rainin’

But there’s a rainbow above you

You better let somebody love you

Before it’s too late.

And the next sound we heard was the tiny wail of my daughter’s first cry.

I have never heard a more perfect sound.

And I know, with all of my heart,

That my angels were listening with us,

Smiling from above,

The rainbow that would forever shine on our precious baby girl.


So, the next time you see a feather,

Lying in a place that it really shouldn’t be lying,

I hope you that it makes you smile.

And I hope that it gives you faith.

Because no matter what you believe,

Or don’t believe,

Your loved ones are all around you.

It just depends on how hard you look.