Saying Goodbye

I killed my first born son. No, I didn’t beat him or dish out some violent abuse, but he’s dead nonetheless. I’m such a poor mommy that I didn’t even notice he was ill or suffering.

Poor Sterling. He was just a few months past his 6th birthday. He was – as far as I could tell – happy. He was full of life.

Every night he made it a point to say “Night Night” as the lights went out and I went to my bedroom. He sang “Hello” in several octaves to acknowledge me. He asked for things; “Sterling treat” was a common request. And he had an uncanny ability to duplicate every sound he heard – my car alarm, the dogs, the baby, trucks backing up, the doorbell.

I killed him with neglect.

He stopped asking for “Shower” a long time ago. He didn’t wonder why I never took him out anymore. He accepted that with three dogs and two human kids Mommy just wasn’t available to him.

And yet he whistled with me when I wanted him to… our song was the theme to Andy Griffith Show. He practiced the “CarWash” clap because I liked it. He laughed with me (in my voice) whenever he heard me laugh. He hung like a bat from the top of his cage and attacked his toys in play to amuse himself.

I should have checked his cage. Should have played with the feathers on his head. Should have given him the shower I kept putting off. Should have let him stretch his wings outside the cage. I should have noticed that last night he didn’t send me to bed saying “Night night.”

I’m sorry, Sterling. Mommy failed you.

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