Have you ever crossed paths with someone and knew it was for a reason? That’s what happened when I met Sherry. Her pink baseball cap caught my eye from across the church parking lot. I soon discovered she was fighting breast cancer. I immediately felt connected to her since I had MS. We bonded over how we were forced to change our life plans because of something outside our control. We felt supported by each other and our friendship grew.
Sherry once told me that “Her time would come when the bluebird arrives”.
“What are you talking about, one day you’ll just turn on the TV and there will be Mary Poppins and ‘Zip-a-dee-do-dah’ and you’ll just… die?!” I asked her in return.
“No, Shelly!” Sherry laughed. “It’s a real bird!"
"Like, out in the real world? That flies?” I asked.
Sherry replied “That’s how they came up with the cartoon! It’s the first bird that arrives in the spring.”
At the time I didn’t think twice about our conversation, but once the next Spring came around I remembered what she said. Sherry and I helped with our girls’ Girl Scout troop together. With the collaboration of Sherry, Zaida (another Girl Scout mom), and I, we created the idea of building Bluebird nest boxes and putting them along a trail in order to teach our children the importance of monitoring and taking care of nature. I was still getting used to the idea that a bluebird was a real bird, but I enjoyed collaborating with the other mothers and Girl Scouts.
April 5th, 2007 was the day I saw my very first bluebird. I was looking out the window and there he was, perched on a sugar maple! I went to call Sherry, completely overwhelmed and excited that I had seen a real, live bluebird. She was right, they weren’t just in cartoons! Her sister answered my phone call and explained to me that Sherry was not doing well. I rushed to Sherry’s house to tell her that her dream was coming true! When I got there, she wasn’t able to speak, but I knew she understood and connected with my words. Later that day, I hosted the very first Bluebird Restoration Project Open House. Girl Scouts, parents, TV news teams, and community members surrounded me as I opened up my very first bluebird nest box. What I saw took my breath away and I was flooded with emotions, in the nest box was a new bluebird nest. I knew this was a sign from Sherry and God that this project would bring my life satisfaction.