With @'s brother, it's hawks. The relationship is different. I don't get to play the verbal games. But I see hawks in odd places. Or, it's possible the hawks were always there and I didn't see them.
Shortly after the boys were born, a young hawk moved into in our neighborhood -- in the mix of Silicon Valley's freeways, expressways, and Starbucks. At first he seemed to spend a lot of time going from tree to tree as if trying to find other hawks or get his bearings. Eventually he settled into a routine and in the early evenings would spend time in the front-yard mulberry tree or a nearby neighbor's tree before moving on. I haven't seen him in a couple of years, but it was nice to have him around.
- I found feathers while I was pregnant.
- When X and I got married, a red-tailed hawk circled above us at the end of the ceremony.
- A pair of hawks live in the eucalyptus trees that border the parking lot at work and I had my desk reconfigured so I can face that way.
For N's birthday, I got a hawk of my own. It's a tattoo. He's already always with me in my heart, but he has no grave, no memorial. I wear a necklace that represents both @ and N. But I've always needed something that marked N's impact -- gave him a greater presence than my internal grief. Some people might think it's drastic or odd, but there's something truly comforting about having him as part of me again, physically.