A Robin Soothes the Life Sentence

Posted: January 19, 2014 in grief, nature
Tags: ,

Organized chaos in my head. Whirlwind of online activity. A radio guest. My name in print. Slamming doors, sliding shut before another one slides open. Truly in the belly of what I imagine maximum security to be. Then, coming face-to-face with EVIL. Interviews. My image on-screen.

I have opened the mental lock-box and forcefully kept it open for the past three weeks, as I dealt with the criminal justice portion of my grief.

And then I closed the box, locked it tight, and tossed the mental key. For now.

Just like that, I return to the life sentence that I began serving on August 8, 2011. As I transition, I feel slightly lost, more than a bit depressed. No longer involved in an active fight, no longer serving as Tony’s voice, my return to privacy means noticing, once again, the progression of life all around me. A young man marries the love of his life. A mother talks about the engagements of both her son and her daughter. A young woman acknowledges that she has found “the one.” A grandmother shares how her grandson cries upon her departure, not wanting her to leave. A couple prepares for an exciting vacation trip. I’m forced to notice the family connections of strangers as well. An elderly woman walks arm in arm with a young man who might be her grandson. A 50-something woman sits on a bench, laughing at the antics of the children she watches over before they run to her for hugs. I overhear the conversation of two women, one talking about her daughter’s wedding; the other sharing of the imminent birth of her son’s first child. All around me, life goes on with activities that I will never experience, as I serve my life sentence for the rest of my days.

I stepped out on my patio to listen to the birds chirping in the morning air. Wrapped in my fleece blanket, I watched the birds scamper from tree to tree. I set my sights on a healthy robin, perched on a branch of the tree at the far corner of my lot, as I began my conversation with Tony. I told him of my efforts of the past three weeks and my feelings of loss now.


I asked his spirit to show me a sign through the robin, which had remained perched throughout my monologue. And the bird immediately took flight. Straight towards me. And landed on a branch of another tree. Directly over my head where I stood. Overwhelmed with gratitude and tears, I felt comforted by the red robin, which was filled by my Tony’s spirit.

  1. Ruby Buchanan says:

    Amparo, Such beautiful spoken words, from a mom who loves her one and only son. Tears rolling. I know Tony is so proud of his mom. Love you! Ruby

  2. Orlando Atencio says:

    Once again my heart brakes as your writing allows me to feel a portion of your sense of loss. I still can’t imagine what you go through on a day to day basis. You are the strongest person I know. God bless you.

  3. Debra Reagan says:

    Another touching post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am sure it will minister to others. I am so sorry you have to travel this journey. Much love, Debra

    PS-come and go with us on our trip. 🙂

  4. Debra says:

    Amparo, I am so sorry that you have to travel this journey. Sending hugs your way. I love the part about the bird. Love, Debra

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