Happy Birthday Bird

Many years ago my wife Judy looked at me and said “you know, you’re a real “Bird”. Woe !!!  She quickly explained that her dad tended to call people “bird” if they were a bit eccentric. Hmmmmm.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of this new term, so I responded how any other brilliant person would respond, saying…..  “well you’re a Bird too”….. a pretty impressive response on my part. The term stuck and we’ve been calling each other “Bird” for over 50 years. It’s a term of endearment. 

Names are funny things. It’s interesting how we get used to people’s name and the literal description doesn’t sound odd after awhile. My brother Neal has been called Brown since before I was born. Literally it seems a bit odd; isn’t brown a color? Well actually there is a story behind the name. When he was a young toddler he looked a bit like Buster Brown, the comic strip mascot for the Brown Shoe Company in St. Louis. If you’re over a hundred years old, you may remember the jingle …. “Hey, my name is Buster Brown, I live in a shoe… this is my dog Tige,  he lives there too.” The Buster was dropped and my brother became Brown. So, he’s Brown to us and Uncle Brown to my kids. Judy and I call each other Bird. I don’t think of a “literal” bird when I call her name.. she is Bird, which makes perfect sense.

Well we just celebrated Bird’s 75th birthday. We started with Mass. Bird’s not into fancy celebrations and big gifts, so we did some shopping…. groceries from Albi’s, picked up some dry cleaning, stuff at the drug store…and went to Adoration. We then had a nice soup dinner at our daughter’s home; Bird likes soup. There were homemade cards, some presents, and dessert with the kids and grandkids.  Just in case you’re curious, I bought her a new ironing board. It was a great day. All the kids and grandkids really love Bird; they call her mom and gramma. 

So don’t be surprised when one day a new edition of Butlers Lives of the Saints is published and there is a St. Bird listed…. holy wife, mother, grandmother, friend of God and neighbor. That would be very good news for all who have known this wonderful holy woman.

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