In Native American lore, Cardinals represent devotion, loving relationships, courtship, and monogamy.
For many bird lovers, the sight of a cardinal holds special meaning, sometimes evoking emotional or spiritual feelings. They say the vibrant red bird is an uplifting, happy sign that those we have lost will live forever, so long as we keep their memory alive in our hearts.
I’ve been told that when you see a red cardinal near your home, it should also serve as a reminder to embrace the new beginnings ahead and have faith that they will comfort your soul.
One week after Dad died IMom called. I was at work and in the middle of a therapy session. I’m pretty open and when I saw “Mom” on the caller ID knew I needed to take the call. I answered and heard Mom crying. Through her tears, she explained she had repeatedly heard a knocking sound on a window in her dining room. She told me she had looked and saw nothing. She did continue to hear the sound. Confused, she made her way toward the sound. She witnessed a Cardinal sitting on the windowsill and with its beak knocking on the glass. Mom said she had never seen a bird of any kind sitting on that window. I could not recall ever seeing a bird of any kind sitting by that window.
I can’t tell you that I honestly believed this. I had heard it discussed by others in the past. I had heard the stories and saw the garden ornaments extolling the virtues of Cardinals. I brushed off the conversation and went back to work. I went home and shared the story with my wife who replied, “I know. Your mom called me and told me the same thing.” Early next week Mom called again and shared that the Cardinal had returned. He pecked at the same window. This time she included a photo. I visited with Mom Saturday and as I approached the front entrance to their house I watched as a Cardinal flew away from the window in question. Within minutes of entering the house, I heard the same knocking sound at the same window. As I approached the window the bird flew and landed on a bush just a few feet away. He immediately returned and assumed his position on that window.
He’s been back almost every day as if to let my mom know that he’s alright.
I love you Dad. I’ll miss you and your smile. I’ll carry you always in my heart and remain grateful for the gifts you’ve given and the lessons learned through all of the years we were able to spend together.