Two Forever Cardinals

I remember sitting in the window at our Pennsylvania home as a child waiting to catch a glimpse of the beautiful red Cardinal that would  land on the tree branches outside the window.  I thought that if I sat really still He would come and I could just sit there and watch him doing what he did.  It always amazed me how him and his mate would flit around from branch to branch in their own little perfect dance.  I especially loved them when they came out from hiding in the winter months.  Their red bodies against the white snow was always breathtaking.  Needless to say, the Cardinal is my most favorite bird.  Probably the only one I actually like.  I think, despite their muted colors, that the female Cardinals are beautiful as well.  I find it most fascinating that Cardinals breed for life.  I think that is amazing.  Obviously, it is nature, so sometimes male Cardinals challenge each other for their mates, but in general once a mate is found, it is for life.  Male and female Cardinals perch in different places while “courting” and sing phrases.  The female will match the phrase of the male and sometimes (especially when they start nesting) they add their own melodies.  During the courting period the male Cardinal often feeds the female Cardinal seeds and other sustenance to prove himself.  He does the same during the nesting period.  Anyway, sometimes during the winter months Cardinals join flocks.  Other times they do not.  The Cardinals that I grew up watching always seemed to be there, right outside the window.  Just the two of them.  I can still picture them against the snow…

Since Michael died Cardinals have offered me a strange sense of comfort.  They always seem to show up right when I need their calming beauty.  Before Michael died I barely remember seeing Cardinals around my North Carolina home.  In the past year, in every instance where my anxiety is rising or tears are flowing down my face and I am near a window, or outdoors altogether, a Cardinal seems to choose to soar by.  There are times where I see a male and female dance that is reminiscent of when I was young and I would watch for these beautiful creatures to come give me a show.  Other times I see a whole family flitting around tree to tree.  It is the most beautiful thing to me and it reminds me that despite the short life Michael and I had together it was something that I can wonder at like I wondered at the Cardinals when I was young.  Everything came so natural with us.   Like two birds sharing a song and adding melodies, we just fit together.  We were meant, in some sense, to be mates, even if we were not meant to be mates for life.  Our life was a perfect little dance, despite the times we stepped on each others toes, that I have gathered people marveled at.  We handled even our biggest mistakes together with a grace that many could not bring themselves to muster.  Today, the children were asking me questions and telling me what they thought about God and Daddy.  It has been a particularly trying day, so the extra push to think of and feel the loss of Michael started to get overwhelming.  I felt such a deep pain in my heart as they tried openly to make sense of their experience.  My anxiety and my pain rose quickly to the surface, but as I rounded the corner to my neighborhood I saw a male Cardinal and a female Cardinal in the middle of one of their dances.  It literally took my breath away and brought tears to my face.  I felt, in that moment, like Michael was telling me that the dance will never be over.  He will forever be a part of my heart and soul.  We are still as beautiful as the Cardinals I grew up watching.  We don’t get the years that those Cardinals got together, but we still get to dance and sing.  We get that because of Olivia, Michael, and Landon.  I have to continue to move forward and live my life because I owe that to myself and to my children.  But, we are two forever cardinals because of them.

One thought on “Two Forever Cardinals

  1. Pingback: Cardinals reprised | Unspoken Words

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