Do you ever see something and it makes you think of someone from your past, or someone who has died? I assume that you have all heard about the “pennies from Heaven,” where you see a penny on the street, and it means someone who has died is sending you a message. My mother never carried much change or currency with her, but she always had a paperclip or two in her wallet, and we would tease her about it. So now when I see a random paper clip, I figure it’s my mother thinking about me! That always makes me laugh because it’s pretty silly.
Also, my mother loved cardinals, so when I see one, or possibly a pair, I think she is with me….maybe even brought my dad along with her if I see two. There are a couple of cardinals that appear in our backyard quite often. It’s kind of funny how I may be needing some comfort, and suddenly, there is a cardinal! How does that happen? Is it just a coincidence? Maybe…..but it still provides comfort, and makes me smile.
This morning, Al and I were watching CBS Sunday Morning (my favorite show), and they were talking about a lady who had been disrespectful towards her neighbors. She became sick, and had a change of heart. In the story, they showed a cardinal, and Al said, “See? Your mom was there to help her!” It’s funny how he only met her briefly once…..many years ago……but he has embraced the feelings we all had for my mother through our stories and memories. He knows how good she was, and now he also thinks of her when he sees a cardinal!
When I’m near the water or hear certain jazz music, I think of my father, who loved the sea, and the big bands of the 1940’s. When I eat certain foods, I think about my grandparents. But those cardinals just seem to appear at the right times! The Beatles sang, “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” Well, my mother was Mary, and I do believe she comes to me when I’m struggling, in the form of a cardinal. After my mother died, I couldn’t sit through church without getting upset. Certain hymns or scriptures could send me straight to tears. I do okay now, but the cardinals are the strongest symbol I have of my mother.
Lately, life has been a struggle for different reasons. I’m supposed to be avoiding stress, but circumstances and other people make that impossible. A serious health condition, a heavy workload, bills, negativity, dishonesty, manipulative people, horrible things on the news, divisiveness, worrying about my children……..these things always weigh on me. I want to fix things. I want people to understand each other. I want everyone to respect everyone. I want to be completely healed. I’ve been looking for cardinals lately, and haven’t seen any. I need the comfort of that bright red bird, giving me the comfort that I feel when I think my mama is nearby. A mother’s love and comfort is like no other.
The first day of spring is coming up, and I always look at this season as a time of new beginnings. I will be spending more time on the back porch, looking for the cardinals, who will come to comfort me, and let me know that it’s all going to be okay. With their presence, they let me know that everything will be fine. This too shall pass. We will survive. Be patient. Don’t be afraid to do what is right. Start taking better care of myself. Ignore the hate and negativity. I am loved.
What is it that comforts you? What reminds you of loved ones who are no longer with us? Is it a song? A certain type of food? A television show?