Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Mother & The Robin

My own mum, Catherine McKinlay (nee Nugent) went to be with the Lord over twenty years ago (17th Nov, 1989). I was living in Canada at the time and went back to Scotland for her funeral. The following is an excerpt from my From Mason To Minister book. It tells a little of the story:

“My mother would feed the blackbirds pieces of cheese as they came to the kitchen window for handouts. One of her favourite birds was the little robin who would appear from his travels at a certain time each year. She seemed to have some sort of mystical rapport with the birds. A red-breasted robin entered through her bedroom window and perched on the foot of her bed the day she died. I penned the following while living in Canada:

Blackbird’s on the telegraph pole,
Singing songs of love,
Songs that elevate the soul,
Tunes from up above,
My mother’s in the kitchen cooking,
Singing harmony,
The music drifts across the miles to me.

(P. 7, “From Mason To Minister: Through the Lattice,” Nordskog Publishing, 2011).

My eldest brother, Fearghas, on the morning of my mother’s funeral went outside the house to put something into the bin. A robin red-breast fluttered in his face! He came back into the house only to hear me talking to a brother-in-law about the American Robin displayed on the back of the Canadian $2.00 bill I was holding up! I was saying that the American robin is different to the Scottish one. I mentioned something about the robin getting its red breast from being splashed with Christ’s blood or being pierced by a thorn on His crown of thorns.

After the funeral we all climbed into the back of funeral car. Fearghas said, “Look! A robin!” We all looked out the car window to where he was pointing. There was a little robin red-breast on the end of a branch about a metre away peering in the car window!

Shortly after this time I moved to Australia. Many times when I thought of my mum I would shortly afterwards see a robin or rather a picture of a robin, be it on a roadside billboard or television or whatever! When I moved to Tasmania I was on top of Mt Wellington when a robin appeared! I managed to snap a photo of it!

I know it is rather subjective but I just take it that God, by the robin-appearances, is showing me that all is well with my mum. It all seems too fitting to be coincidental.

(The photo is one I took at the top of Mount Wellington while living in Hobart, Tasmania. A wee Tasmanian Robin landed on the pinnacle with the River Derwent in the vbackground. So there you go!)

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