Sadly, we haven't seen any more activity from the Cardinal nest, since the last time I mentioned it. The nest is still there, but the birds are gone. Amanda has taken flight, too, and doing well on her own. She was able to find an apartment over by the post office, less than five minutes away from us. It's a cute one-bedroom on the top floor of an apartment complex, definitely nicer than the make-shift-garage-utility-closet-turned-living-space that was my first solo apartment.
Seriously, the ceiling pipes dripped on my bed at night.
We see Amanda at least once a week. The separation is good, as Amanda is forced to learn how to take care of herself and manage her life as an adult (paying bills, grocery shopping, budgeting, etc.). Her health is still a struggle, but she is facing it with courage and utilizing all of her resources through the county and state. Plus, one of my clients, Ashley (who works for the chiropractor/wellness doctor that we all see), is starting a non-profit organization using horses as therapy for individuals dealing with abuse, trauma, and disability. She asked Amanda to be one of her first volunteer clients. I'll tell you, it was better than delivering flowers the day I got to tell her the news. She's been walking on clouds ever since.
Amanda gets lonely on her own some times, but all of her favorite friends live close by, including the coffeeshop where she volunteers, our friend Erin who moved across the hall from her, and her pet parrot named Polly.
Some days we miss seeing her beater red car (accented with neon green duct tape and bungee cords) sitting in our driveway, the vivid dreams Amanda used to tell us on a daily basis, the bad jokes we exchanged in the evenings, Amanda's top-of-her-lungs singing while cleaning or doing yardwork, feeding her food she'd never tried before (polenta is in, avocados are out), and the guitar jams in our living room. But, what we love more is knowing that Amanda is living out her faith in a very real way (without us holding her hand). She is stretching through her growing pains and getting stronger every day. Next month, we're going to her place for dinner.
Spaghetti is on the menu.