Widow Finds New Companionship
Phelps was walking her dog at the intersection of Atchison and Broadway six years ago, when she spotted an injured sparrow in the street. Phelps remembers the exact date: Nov. 18.
"It was the anniversary of my husband's death," she explained. Phelps' husband died from a heart attack when she was 33, so she alone had to raise their two young children.
Now, 55 years later to the day, she couldn't bear to experience another loss.
"I was sad and I thought, 'Oh, am I going to have to see a little bird get killed on this day?' And I decided, 'No, I'm not going to.' And then I went out there and picked her up," explained Phelps. "I just went out there and said, 'Stop!'"
The bird had a broken wing and was barely breathing. Phelps took it home, not expecting it to make it through the night. But, thanks to her care, the sparrow survived, although it can't fly. The bird wouldn't survive on its own, so Phelps keeps it in a cage in her bedroom.
"Just by love and care and prayer. I say, 'Thank you, Lord, every morning for little bird,'" she added. "I say, 'Lord loves you and I love you know, be happy little bird.'"
She doesn't know if her sparrow is a boy or a girl, so she calls it simply "bird."