Up early every morning to work our farm, and home by dinner every night.

That was my husband, Lynn. Every day for 42 years.

When Lynn died I didn’t know what to do. It was bad enough missing him. But without Lynn’s daily routine my own life lost its shape. Without him to kiss good-bye each morning or welcome home each night, I hardly had a reason to get out of bed.

Then one morning soon after the funeral I woke up to a “tap, tap, tap” at the window. A bright yellow canary blinked at me through the glass, a rare sight in the wild. That night before bed I saw him again, looking at me from the same window. I started to look forward to his visits. Up in the morning and home in the evening, I thought. Just like Lynn.

The canary returned to structure my days for a good while. Long enough to help me through the first rough patch without Lynn.

Every time I saw my colorful, feathered friend I thought of Lynn, still following his old routine up in heaven, where angels’ wings are white, not yellow.