Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Symbol of Hope

On the day that he was delivered, so perfect, and still, I saw a brilliant red male cardinal sitting out in my yard. It came and visited again on that cold, bright January day that he was laid into the ground. Every time that he has been on my mind, and I've had him on my heart for one reason or another, I have had a cardinal sighting. Every year while we are at my MIL's for Easter, I catch a glimpse of one in the trees out the window, if just for a moment. Each year, on the anniversary of his death, I've come home and found one, if not a male and a female, perched on the feeders in the tree in my front yard. They usually stay a while and I have time to reflect on our loss, and let my mind wonder what kind of little boy he would be if he was with us today.

When I made my niece Victoria a lamb for her first Easter, my SIL shared with me how when she was pregnant with her, and after she was born, she felt like lambs where her "special animal" and how awesome it was that I made her one, because I didn't know that. I shared with her back about my cardinal experiences related to Max, and how I felt that, at least with me, that they were his special creature. She really liked that. This year especially, I have had a lot of cardinal sightings, and I shared that with her this fall, because I think of him whenever I see one. She replied that he must have a message for me.

 On Thursday, which was the anniversary of his passing, we had our class parties at school. It struck me then, the sadness of the day, while I was surrounded by all those happy little children, which I thought was so odd. I think I was grieving for what will never be, but then, at the same time, I was glad  to have the kids there for comfort, because it helped. Right after I read a post from my SIL that broke my heart. She has a new baby this year, and realizes firsthand, how heartbroken her sister must have been. For the first time, she has that little girl that she can't imagine losing, and even though she experienced the pain of it before, it's a whole new kind of pain now.

Today, I read that the cardinals are the symbol of hope. That people often have sightings of them before of after the death of a loved one. They symbolically represent hope, and faith, and if ever there was a year that I have needed that, it has been this one. So Max, thank you, for the reminder to keep the faith. I'm doing my best. Aunt B misses you every day, and will hold you in her heart forever.

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