I miss your eyes. I miss how you watched me when I told you about yourself, those stories that I would make up about how you came to this country in that most horrible way. You would watch me with your black eyes and never blink. You could watch me forever.
How much I miss your black eyes filled with wonder and love when I would sing to you in my awful toneless voice, and you would hum along. I could feel your hum in my chest as I watched your black eyes, soaking up the lullabys that I had once sung to my children and now were sung to you to be followed by "your" song, my beautiful Casserole.
You know that your kind does not lay on their backs, they do not, but you did with me, you did, you trusted me to love and care for you. You would lay in my arms like a baby and hum, with your little balled up fists, trusting me and I would rock you and kiss you and tell you stories of Africa and flying and sing to you. You only had half a wing on the left side. You had been hurt when you came to America, and you lost it because that owner did not tend to your injury, so you never trusted again. Not for 42 years, until we found each other. My love, my Casserole. My sweet little man.
Who else would say "My Gawd" when aggravated because he was startled awake at night. Or "Hey Guy" in the morning. You. You walked around on the bottom of your new cage that you loved so much and you talked to yourself, you said "Oh Cass, you are a good boy, you are a pretty bird, I love you Cass" and when I took your buddy of 12 years, Malaika, into any other room, you called out "Malaika" or "Laika" over and over until I brought her back where you could see her. You loved her and she has grieved for you.
When the phone rang. your voice changed to a gruff old man and you said "Hello". I miss you so much. I ache to hold you in my arms one more time.
I let you set the rules. You came here scared, and so I let you tell me what you wanted. You got out of your cage and onto the couch as you wanted and came to me and slowly crawled onto me. You got under my chin. We bonded. Then, I came to you and I said, "Can I have you?" and that was what I always asked you, "Can I have you?" And you would stop what you were doing and I would scoop you out and onto your back in my arms and we would love. Late at night, you would sleep like a baby in my arms. When I would take you back before you wanted, you would squeal like a angry child and kick your feet. It was very funny. Cass, no one in the world like you.
Warm bread, my boy Cass.
The way you left me, it is so sad for me. You died in my arms October 18 as I was kissing you on the back of the neck. You had a stroke and you were gone in a flash. Just gone. I tried to revive you for a long time and could not . It is very ironic to lose you the way that I loved being with you the most. But, here is the thing, I have been asked time and again if I have dreamed of you, and I am putting together what I think happened to me recently. I think you came to me to show me you were ok and that you are flying. I think you were waiting until you knew how to use your wings so you could show me. I know how much you loved me and you had to know how much I miss you, how hard it was to lose you the way that I did.
Two nights ago, in the wee hours, I was awakened, startled awake, by a bird flying into my face with gray wings. That was you, wasn't it Cass? At dawn, after my husband went to shower, I awoke again, and there was a smokey presence in the bedroom, on the ceiling. I saw this same thing, or a similar thing, when my father died. When I saw it two mornings ago, I got up and looked at it, worried because I thought the house was on fire. I went out of the room and the smoke moved with the door opening, there was no smell. I got my husband, no smoke was anywhere else and when I immediately returned, it was gone in the bedroom. I think now that it was you, you had not completely left me. Thank you darling Cass. I know that you are ok now. I know that you are flying and happy. You were my soul pet. When I pass, your ashes will be buried with me or mixed with mine, however my remains are handled.
Thank you, black eyes. Can I have you? I had the greatest of all, the most magnificent of all. I have been blessed. God sent me an angel, and I sent him back. I love you Cass. I miss you Cass. My sweet Casserole. 1967? - 10/18/2012