Anyone who knows me knows I love Bald Eagles. Growing up my parents shared their love of this bird, due in part to their hometown, Decorah, IA. It’s a popular area for Bald Eagles and when we would road trip to visit family we would always keep an eye out for one. Dad said we’d get $5 for everyone we saw (still waiting to collect).
I never knew how this bird would become my saving grace in coping with my mother’s cancer. When her hair started to fall out from chemo, mom got together with her sisters to shave her head. She looked amazing. I wish I would have done it with her but my head has a dent in it. Regardless she looked beautiful. One day she was probably asking me to do something and I got sassy with her and called her “Bald Eagle.” She gave me a look but I quickly recovered and let her know it was a symbol of strength and grace. She liked it and the name stuck.
From that moment on we did road races as Team Bald Eagle and when she passed it was comforting to see one fly across the sky. Anyone who knew my mom and knows my family’s love for them sees it as a sign from her. That means so much to me. I often have friends and family send messages and post on social media sharing they saw one and thought of her. It literally makes my day. I have a framed bald eagle feather, a gift from a friend shortly after my mom passed that I display so proudly.
Joel knew how much this bird means to me when he decided to propose. He planned a weekend getaway to Decorah, IA and Wabasha, MN home of the National Bald Eagle Center to incorporate my mom and this special bird. You can read about our proposal on our wedding website. He did so good.
Now I find myself buying any sort of product that resembles a bald eagle, I spot eagles any chance I get and take photos in obsession. Hayden Keith’s Halloween costume is a bald eagle, photos to come.
And this week, when Joel and I went to pick up Hayden Keith from daycare, a bald eagle was outside on a tree just watching over and so we all waved hello to Angel Grandma Kristi.