You may be curious about the blog title- Rainbows & Mourning Doves.
Let me take a step back. John was a career firefighter with Annapolis Fire Department and a volunteer with Community Fire Company of Rising Sun. He was a firefighter since way before I met John and I was so proud when he got hired at Annapolis. He finally had his dream job.
John was more than just a firefighter. John was extremely active in the fire company & rose to the rank of Captain. Often John had bigger accomplishements behind the seens in the innerworkings of the fire company. He was awarded national grants to purchase equipment. He was on multiple comittees for purchasing equipment… and much more…
Going back to purchasing equipment… John was on the committe to purchase the Ladder Truck… the truck was John’s baby. It had been said by several people that “the Truck was “John’s Truck” he just let everybody else use it.”
John had a firefighter’s funeral. On the day of his viewing, a huge thunderstorm came through. It even hailed. My friend, Charlie, came thru and pulled me out of line to go outside. Overtop of “John’s Ladder Truck” was a huge rainbow. I think that was John’s way of telling me that everything was okay. Apparently when the rainbow started it was a double rainbow! Rainbows will never mean the same thing to me again.
The rainbow helped a lot, but I still miss John terribly.
Now for the Mourning Doves.
We live on a small farm that to me is my little slice of Heaven. John never was a horse person, but he wanted me to be happy. It was his idea to look for property large enough so I could have my dream of having my horses at home. I was skeptical that we could afford it. On a bike ride, John found the sign for the property and we scheduled an appointment. Long story short, we purchased the property , became “official dirt owners” (as we liked to say), and saved our pennies and were finally able to build in 2004. John picked the house… it was his dream house. We were so proud to watch the house being built. I love that I can look out the window & see my horses. I love the deer. I love the many birds that live there. I love all of the peace & beauty of nature that I can see and feel around me. I love the rare sighting of a kestrel or of a heron taking off from the distant pond. I love the creek and the woods. The skies over Leaky Creek are filled with beautiful clouds and lovely sunrises & sunsets. I feel at peace on our farm. It’s the place that John & I picked together for our dream and we were going to live there and grow old together.
Nathaniel loves watching the birds, too. One of his first words was “bird!” He does an elaborate gesture & point & shows you where the bird is while loudly proclaiming “bird!”
Three mourning doves lived in the area, but I don’t think that any specifically lived on our property. After John’s passing, I frequently see the single mourning dove. It often sits on the house or the run in shed while I’m out feeding. Often the first sound I hear in the mourning is the mourning dove’s coo. Once when somebody stopped to visit the dove flew away… as if it is just to be seen by Nathaniel & myself.
John was somebody who was pretty much black & white… not a lot of grey areas with him. In some ways, I think very few people REALLY knew John. But, if you were part of that inner circle then you knew exactly how he felt about people and things. He had very high standards for the people around him, and he had those same high standards for himself. You knew how he felt & if you asked for an opinion, he’d give you his opinion even if he knew you wouldn’t like it.
So… a mourning dove makes perfect sense… Nathaniel loves watching birds. John loved Nathaniel with all his heart. Wikipedia describes mouning doves not in several ways- their sad coo that gives them their name; “The Mourning Dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds”, “Mourning Doves are devoted parents; nests are very rarely left unattended by the adults.”
John & I were absolutely devoted to each other. On trips away from their wives or girlfiends, not many men would pass up the opportunity to visit a strip club and to instead return to their hotel room & call their loved one. John did. He also told me that the real reason for summer trips downtown weren’t for ice cream or gelatos, but rather that certain people liked to watch the girls in their skimpy outfits. lol… Heck, when asked who I thought was the sexiest actor, I’d quip, why do I need to look at other men, I have all that I want here. John on the other hand found Helen Hunt & Sandra (Sandy) Bullock to be pretty hot. Although, Sandy lost some points for marrying Jessee James. Neither of us could quite see that attraction 😉
John was the best father that a child could ask for and a wife could want. In many respects, I think John was a better father than I am a mother. From the beginning, John could pinpoint what Nathaniel needed and he was such a caring & loving father. I could get frustrated. Not, John, strong and steady… that was the way John always was.
John was a strong believer that the best person to raise a child is his/her parents. We fought so hard to keep Nathaniel out of childcare. My work was very generous and allowed us to work opposite schedules for 2008. When 2009 came along, I used vacation days to stretch the time that we could care for Nathaniel ourselves. We had a way figured to make it work thru May, sadly, John’s melanoma turned stage IV in February.
So, the mourning dove makes perfect sense…
& now you see why the blog is titled…”Rainbows & Mourning Doves”