"Mom... have you ever thought about dating again?"
Robin laughed from her seat at the kitchen table. She glanced up from the book she was reading and met Cardinal's eyes. "Nobody would date an old bag of bones like me! I just figured out how to 'like' something on Facebook, Cardi."
Cardinal laughed, but deep down inside, he knew that his mom's mind was elsewhere. Even now, her eyes dart out the window every so often, tragically hoping to find Jay wandering back home.
On the week Cardinal had been born, Jay Owens was on a trip to Antarctica; he'd had the privilege of escorting several esteemed scientists to their new research stations, where they'd study the wildlife living in the icy cold. Word eventually reached Robin just after her baby was born that the plane had crashed; the passengers were for the most part unharmed, save for one man--a hijacker who'd attempted to wreck the plane. Witnesses from the event raved about their pilot's heroic efforts to stop the man from seizing the aircraft.
That pilot--Jay--was the only person aboard the flight that could not be found.
Even after the searches for his body had long ended, Robin never once stopped believing that her husband would come home. She read the letters they'd written to each other over and over again, tracing over ever "I love you" with her fingers. He'll come back. He'll come back. He'll come back. My little blue jay is off on his adventure, and soon he'll fly back, safe in my arms.
Cardinal sometimes believed it, too; when people asked him about his father, he'd catch himself saying that Jay would "be back from a trip soon" or that he was "off on an adventure somewhere." It was hard to miss a man he'd never met, but Cardinal ached to have that hero in his life and love him just as much as Robin did.
"Cardinal," Robin suddenly said, putting her book down on the kitchen table.
"Your father would have been proud to have you as a son." she said softly, returning her gaze to the blue skies out the window.