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What love! part 2

July 31, 2018

The journey to the jaunty chapeau has, on a handful of occasions, pushed me to the point of “can’t even”.  Recently, as looming deadlines approached in the short summer term, I felt stressed and overwhelmed.  I decided going for a walk was a better, and perhaps more productive, option than shedding a few tears. On the walk, I took an unexpected detour and had some wonderful encounters with a cheeky cardinal and a calming mourning dove.  I took those birds to be heavenly cheerleaders, one being my family’s bird of hope and the other representing one of my best friends who left us much too soon.  Those interactions gave me a reinvigorated pep, propelling me to finish strong with the tasks at hand that day.

After returning home, I shared my experience on Facebook.  Many friends responded with “likes” and “loves”, and a few friends commented.  The one post that took my breath away was the word of encouragement from another grieving mom who shared that she loved how I always kept my eyes open to those moments in life where heaven touches earth.  Melt. My. Heart. Her words were further balm on a day where the details seemed to choke out the bigger picture.

My fascination with nature and the way God speaks through it has always been a source of comfort and that is why I wait in anticipation to see all the little messages or messengers He brings into my day.  Martin Luther must have held similar views as he once wrote

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

Daily, I watch for a visit from a painted lady butterfly.  I wait for one to flutter by as a reminder of the promise my cousin, Amy, and I have to watch for its arrival and then to pray for each other.  No matter the circumstances of the moment, I know that the yellow, blue and black wings are my reminder to pause before my God and to pray for her.

So it was that this little nature-loving girl waited with extreme hopeful anticipation of a cardinal sighting on the day of Damien and Cheyanne’s wedding.  I never doubted for a moment that it would happen.

We went about our morning as usual and then we realized we needed to hustle to squeeze everything in before our assigned picture time prior to the ceremony.  I have been working on cutting down sugar in my diet – which shudderingly means less sweet tea – and decided to run to the coffee – which I will never drink – shop to pick up a mango black iced tea.  The roads in our neighborhood are under construction and for the first few weeks, including wedding day, I forgot that I could not traverse that direction.  Having to circle the block, I had no idea I was about to enter into the most divine appointment of my day.


If I know anything about cardinals, it is they are very skittish and do not normally stick around for very long for visitors.  As I turned the corner I realized that there was something in the road blocking my path, and I slowed the minivan down to a crawl.  The closer I got I realized it was a bird, but the sun’s glare off the road obscured my view until I got so close that I came to an abrupt stop.  Actually, there were not one but two male cardinals.  Never in my life have I ever seen a cardinal sit still that close for that long.


The birds sat there for what seemed like forever and an instance all at the same time.  Eventually, one cardinal went to the curb on one side of the street and the other alit on the curb right outside my passenger window.  I turned to look at the one right next to me.  He turned his head, looked me in the eye and with a knowing nod, he appeared to motion me onward to a great day.

The tears I held back from frustrated homework were nothing compared to the waterworks that gushed from the lavished love in the gift of a redbird.  I sobbed clearly understanding the message.  While Reed would be one side of heaven’s veil, his presence would be felt on the other side as he would be loving his adopted brother from afar for his big day.

There are so many ways that little stuff mattered on that day, but what love to know that Reed and God orchestrated a personal message from one brother to another on that precious day!




  1. Phyllis wallin permalink

    Oh Kandy , you do such a beautiful job writing, I am enjoying every message you put “pen to paper” keep them coming.Love your loving family.

  2. Oh, those “God Nods” are precious, indeed! I love the moments when God pulls back that so very thin veil of heaven and gives us a glimpse of His presence and reminds us of how greatly we are loved and seen, how very near our precious loved ones are. The cardinal, for us, too, has been our “sign” these past seven years in the journey of child loss. ((hugs))

    • Angie – Thank you for stopping by. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. We belong to a club that none of us ever chose to be a part, yet I, like you, look for those “God Nods” on a regular basis and find comfort. Shalom! Peace be with you. Kandy

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