My mom was obsessed with the urban seagulls that nested in the building next to hers, in the west end of Vancouver. Long lens camera trained upon them from her bedroom window, she'd record their lives and post me photos every spring. Some days she'd watch them and snap for hours. She would give me 'seagull report' who had died, who had flown the nest. This became an important part of her life and I enjoyed it vicariously. When my mother died, I had to fly to Vancouver to take care of everything. On the day I arrived a seagull flew up to the balcony and perched upon the railing, where it remained just staring in at me for about a minute. It was the strangest feeling, almost like mom had come back to say good-bye. I mentioned it to some friends and they said that the most usual way a person comes back is through a bird. Who knows if it was a coincidence or if it was one last meeting with mom but it brought me great comfort, wonder and joy.
Below is a photo of Merle (my mother) on her 67th birthday. We went on an Alaska Cruise together and had an amazing time. Little did we know that it would be her final birthday, but boy was it fun and the fantastic memories will last me forever.