Cardinals and Pennies

As Mothers Day approaches, I can’t stop thinking about my Mom and my Granma, both dearly missed nearly everyday of my life.  It is difficult to comprehend even after death has separated us, that my life is continually touched by both of them even though they are gone.  It is challenging to grasp that daily I have a brief encounter with them; a passing thought or a memory, ethereal moments.   But there are also times when they actually reach out and literally grab me and reassure me.

From my mom, it is with a penny.  From my Granma it is the cardinal.

Both of them subtly forewarned me in life and gave the promise that they would be with me.  I didn’t realize that fact at the time, but soon after each of them departed I was reminded.   My Mom,,,”When you find a penny think of me”, My Grandma…I will come back as a bird.

Pennies turn up in my life frequently since my mom passed away several years ago.  Funny, I don’t recall finding pennies before she died, but now they are picked up frequently, often during moments in my life that I need reassurance.   A penny in the back of our newly acquired home, a penny in the parking lot of the grocery store to buy Mike Sells potato chips on the way to visit my sister, a penny in the back of my business when we were getting ready to close it down.


A penny found, whether it is shiny and new or covered with grime,  gives pause and makes me smile and feel encouraged and assured.

Then there are the cardinals…they have been with us for 35 years in our old home, 2 pair that we watched over the years.  We knew their cheeps and songs.  We knew there feeding times.  Late last summer we arrived in Norfolk and although I have enjoyed the many birds and their songs in this area, I have missed my cardinals.  I haven’t seen a cardinal here at all, that is until 4 days ago.

I was having an incredibly bad day.  It seemed that everything I did or touched went wrong.  I just wanted to go to bed and start all over.  It was definitely a full moon kind of day.   I was alone in our newly acquired townhouse…cleaning and getting it ready for us to start the next chapter of our lives.   The Ol’ Buckeye was on his way to our home in Illinois to pick up a car and check on things at the house that is currently on the market.  I had ranted my feelings and that is a blog in and of itself.    So much to do inside and outside…overwhelming.   Outside it was an amazing day…I longed to just sit in our new courtyard and drown in my sorrows  But the courtyard is overgrown and needs lots of attention too, especially the little fountain that is full of foul water and decayed leaves.  As I looked out longingly at the sun filled courtyard, what did I see taking a drink at the fountain…a female cardinal.  She stayed for awhile at the edge of that unsavory water refuge, but what a heartening effect it had on me.

courtyard fountain

I am not an expert on how loved ones connect with us after they are gone…but I am a believer.   I am not a psychic.  I do believe that when physical life ends, love and energy continue and the soul lives on.

So on this Mothers’ Day, I am thankful for my mom and Grandma and the impact they had and continue to have on who I am.  Even though they are not physically here, I know that on Sunday I can wish them a Happy Mothers’ Day and they will feel my love.