What The Eagle Really Means
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What The Eagle Really Means

And why I got a tattoo of it.

What The Eagle Really Means

As a teenager, you will never forget the first person you lose who you are close with. You hear about death, read about death, and see death over and over again on the radio, in newspapers and on television. For me, the first person to die in my life that I really knew was my grandpa. He left this world way too early in the spring of 2012 and since then, life has not been the same. Less than seven months later my grandma suddenly left as well.

We were confused.

We were frustrated.

We were broken.

Our family's cottage was the one part of my grandparents' legacy that was left behind for us after they went to go spend eternity together. The most vivid memories I have of my grandparents are from up north at our cottage. If you have ever been to northern Michigan, you know how beautiful it is all year round.

Fall: gorgeous.

Winter: glistening.

Spring: stunning.

Summer: amazing.

If you have not been to northern Michigan, I promise it is just as great as Tim Allen's "Pure Michigan" commercials. Now as Michiganders, and even just plain ol' Americans, the bald eagle is one that pretty much amazes every person in this country. Its beauty and grace make us just think, "Yep, that is as American as it can get."

Now before 2012, their presence at my cottage was non-existent. They rarely were spotted unless they were feeding and that was only for a split second. So the first summer after my grandpa had passed we were shocked to see an eagle on Memorial Day weekend. The next weekend we were even more shocked to see the eagle, then we started to question it. It was not until the third or fourth weekend we were up there in June until we realized how special the situation was. Now believe what you want to believe, but personally, I don't see it being a coincidence that there happened to be an eagle up there only a few months after my grandpa's passing. There was a weird feeling we all had every time we were out on the boat and an eagle flew over us. It was a feeling that none of us could really explain, instead we just felt the comfort from the native bird.

About halfway though the summer we were able to locate the eagle's home. From our cottage were were able to see the tree in which the eagle's nest had lay and a branch that was scraped bare so he could sit and look for food out in the lake. During the summer of 2012, we truly felt lucky and blessed to have the eagle watching over us and giving us comfort.

At the end of summer we packed all of our summer toys up and took the boats out of the water. We helped my grandma get all of her belongings around for her to make the trip back downstate. Once she was home, she fell and broke her leg. She then decided to go to a rehab facility so she could mend her broken leg. One day she and my mom were talking and she said, "Linda, I am going to see Tom this weekend."

My mom carried on the conversation with her and that Saturday she left us to go see our grandpa. Not even a year later, my grandparents were once again reunited and we were left here on earth trying to fix our broken hearts.

After the long winter, we were all ready to get back up to our cottage and relive some of the greatest memories we had up there. A few weeks into summer, we again saw the eagle soaring above us. We were once again filled with comfort and hope, however, this time there was still an emptiness in all of us. It was not until a few more weeks into summer when we started to see another eagle.

Our hearts were full again.

The native birds were, and still are, a constant reminder that my grandparents are constantly looking over us, and even still enjoying summer days at the cottage with us. Sometimes, life ends before we are ready for it to end. There are different signs that God leaves us to give us strength and for my family and me, that strength comes from the eagles we see up at our cottage every weekend of the summer.

In December 2015, I decided to get a tattoo of an eagle on my arm so I could have the reminder of my grandparents not only in the summer, but all year round.

Rest in piece, Grandpa and Grandma, you are missed every second of every day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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