As I’ve talked with those who purchase my pieces I’ve learned that it’s the memories and stories that they invoke that bring special meaning to the pieces the Gibby Collector possesses.
The following are excerpts of an email exchange between Rita, a Gibby Collector, and Raymond. Rita gave permission to share her memories tied to two Gibby pieces owned and treasured by her.
…I have among my special treasures a bison and a wolf that you did some time ago, both are the very small in size but so huge in meaning to me. My family came to Kansas in the 1800″s and until this year we have held this small farm or at least small compared to the size of Midwest and west farms of today. The selling was bittersweet after 125 years, but it was time. When I was little there were wolfs and coyote’s in the area, the bison was gone long before my ancestors came, but I could sit on my special hill and in my mind could vision native grass and wildflowers, and maybe a bison. Now, if I had two heroes, but that is another story and I have taken too much of your time already.
My parents have married during the Dust Bowl” era in rural Kansas. According to relatives and neighbors, there had never been sited a blue heron in the township.
Yet, when my father died in the 1980’s and my mother was suffering from deep depression over his death and she was praying that God would take her on the same date as his death, I was asking God to help me with words to my mother, nothing came until one day, the words came. She was making a big turn, but as a family unit family members went to the farm to be with her the next year. See, they had been married on April the 6th, and Dad died on the date of April the 8th. While at the farm, a blue heron flew out of the trees that were near both the creek and my special hill. For years after, a blue heron arrived at the farm and stayed for two weeks. My mother’s health declined and she removed to a nursing home about 18 miles from the farm. Her life was coming to an end, but she was holding on, no one knew how, and then I had time to look at the date while I was talking to the Dr’s. I said they had done all they could, and she was going to die on the eighth if she had her way. I said at her funeral that God wanted to make sure that we all understood who was in control and that is why she died on April the 7th at 11:30 in the evening but he had also granted her a blessing being so close to when she had prayed for this so many years. Now it was I who was having issues with grief with these dates an was seeking an answer because the heron had left the area and though I felt that God would help, I was still grieving.
My neighbor had heard the story of the heron an the farm, and so one day shortly after my mothers funeral called to see if I would like to come for coffee and cookies.
But, first, we would have to pick up her son from school (grade school now college). While driving down the street to her home (across from mine), she said “what’s that above your home). I hadn’t been much attention to the sky, but at that moment I looked up to see a large bird flying around my home and as it caught the wind appeared to be looking in the windows to see if anyone was there. The next event drew tears to our eyes, as the bird came flying down the street and went no further than the roof of the car.
The heron flew away and we both thought that that was the end, it was not. The heron had flown around to the back of my home and was coming back around towards the car, but this time another heron was flying behind it. I knew a blessing when that happened and to this day there have been no herons at the farm or my home.
As to my neighbor, this past year or so, her sister was dying of cancer and she had to be out of town for another family event in MN. My friend/neighbor got back to Lincoln an called to tell me that it had been a beautiful drive back to Lincoln, but that her thoughts sometimes went to her sister and she had a moment of sadness. At one special moment in time, her grief was taking over a bit more than as she the driver with a passenger wanted. And right at that moment, right in front of her car a heron flew, and she said that she knew, really knew, that no matter what everything was going to be alright.
I don’t know if this will help you decide on what you will do with your heron/herons but perhaps this story is a small part of your quest.
God bless you and your family and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Rita – Gibby Collector and owner of