My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 11, 2013

Frank the guardian dove? SOLC #11

Read more Slice of Life stories at
Two Writing Teachers
There is a mourning dove.  We usually see him alone, but sometimes he is accompanied by another dove.  When we see him, we say, "Look!  It's Frank!"  We smile and feel warm inside.

I know, it's a dove.  But he has a special story.


My Grandpa Frank was a joyful man who worked hard.  He and my Grandma Shirley raised six kids on a bricklayer's salary (and lack of a salary in the winter).    Grandma Shirley was the rule maker and Grandpa Frank was the rule breaker.

I'm the oldest of eleven grandchildren.  I remember being handed Cheerios by Grandpa Frank and being told, "Go plant these in the yard.  They are doughnut seeds!"  He always told silly jokes that poked fun at his Polish heritage.  When he was younger, he was kicked out of more than one school for being a "hooligan" and he told stories about having his knuckles rapped by nuns.

In the summer of 2004 we lost Grandpa Frank to complications of a stroke and melanoma.  He died on Father's Day leaving a hole in the hearts of many.  "Be good," were the last words he told me.

Fast foward a few years.  My mom has a small window in her closet which she can look through when she looks in the bathroom mirror to dry her hair.  She started noticing a mourning dove when she thought about her dad (my grandpa, Frank).

I wonder if Dad's here to check up on us. She would wonder.  Then she would feel better about connecting the bird's visit to a challenge our family was facing.

On the day we moved my brother and his family back to Illinois under less than ideal circumstances, a single mourning dove sat on the wire right above their driveway.  "There's Frank!" my mom exclaimed.  She then explained how she connected seeing a mourning dove to her dad.

It's been awhile since I've seen Frank.  We have medical concerns and general stress in my family, so when I went outside to get the Sunday papers, I was pleasantly surprised to see Frank sitting on our roof.

It's funny to think that a bird can make you feel a little better about things.
Whatever works, right?

Frank came for a visit.


  1. wow, I'm so glad you caught his visit. I think birds are just so amazing and I really love how your mom gave you this important memory to help in the difficult times that we all seem to experience in our lives. xo

  2. Thanks for sharing your special story of your Grandpa and about the morning dove. I can tell how important he was in your life and continues to be through this bird.

  3. Oh my...I love this post and so glad that Frank showed up again...and that you got his picture. What is strange...I wrote today and mentioned my Uncle Frank (he could have been a buddy of your grandfather's as he was quite a character too). If you get a chance, read it...since there is a bit of connection. So glad I was able to read your blog today...and keep a look out for Frank...he will be watching. Jackie

  4. What a special story. I'm glad you shared it with us today.

    Keep looking for Frank. He'll be there.

  5. What special memories of your grandpa and mom. I'm glad the mourning dove shows up just when you need him to.

  6. Love this! Nice to know that there might be a little divine intervention going on. I need a Frank in my life!