I have written before about my weird cardinal sightings. As in, they are everywhere I go. After my grandparents Bloom passed away, I began to think that the cardinals were sent as a sign from them – you know, just reminding me that they still had an eye on me. I know, you might think I’m nuts. It’s fine. I know the cardinal’s song so well that when I hear it, my eyes start searching for where the bird is perched. A few weeks ago, during a particularly bad day with Lucy, I thought to myself, “I wish I had some sign that I’m not alone or that things will be ok,” and I didn’t even get that thought fully out before the most beautiful male cardinal flew over and sat right in front of my car. A few seconds later, the female joined him. I love moments like that, even if it was pure coincidence, it reminds me that there is more out there – more beyond the human eye – and I fully believe that people who have passed on have a role in those moments.
Like, the time in Boston when my cousin Karleton’s widow and his son were at a park on a day not long after Karleton’s death (if memory serves it was Karleton’s birthday or an anniversary?) and his son Jackson found a UNC hat at the park that day. Karleton graduated from UNC and then lived in Boston. What are the odds of that happening randomly?
The day of my Grandpa Bloom’s funeral, my sister and I went to Loose Park in Kansas City to spend some time together. We had plans to fly to New York the week after that, and as my grandfather died very suddenly, we decided to keep our original plan and to spend time with my Gram after everyone else had gone home. So, that day at the park, instead of attending his funeral, we fed the geese. My grandpa was an artist and loved to draw geese and ducks – and he had a song about being kind to ducks that we loved to sing with him. While we were feeding the geese, a white duck came barreling across the pond at us and shot up out of the water to stand literally about three feet from the two of us. He raised his wings up over his head and did a little dance for us and then went right back into the water. Lisen and I stood there completely silent. There were no other ducks around – just this one, and it was pure white. A few days later, I went back to the park to try to find the white duck and it was nowhere to be found. I still keep one of his feathers that dropped during his dance in a little box in my bedside table.
The other night, my Aunt Karen called with a story about a lost earring. She told me she had to call me because she knew I would understand. Apparently, she took a shirt off a few weeks ago and with it came off an earring that she loved. She had searched high and low with no luck, until her eldest daughter put on a sweatshirt and out fell the earring. My aunt had never worn that sweatshirt. That happened right after a particularly difficult weekend for my aunt and her family. She and I both laughed about how my grandfather had made it happen so she’d know he was watching out for her.
I know people might think I’m reaching a little bit. That’s fine. I guess I just think if more of us really watched what happens around us – really paid attention to the things we just can’t seem to explain – more people would believe in something beyond ourselves. I don’t mean spiritually beyond ourselves, I just mean that I see things all the time that I can’t quite explain – and I like to think that someone out there, or up there, has sent me a little sign. And, coincidentally or not, they often come when I most need them.
*PS: It’s been a long time since I’ve given myself time to write. There is no better time than getting some sort of mystery flu/cold to lie around and write, right? I would like to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who commented about Lucy – people I’ve never even met wrote some of the sweetest words to me, and my sweet Pa had some great words of advice and reminders about my own childhood. I really, truly thank you. Lucy has had a really, really good past week or two – she’s still not eating at school, but she’s not so terribly sad and anxious anymore, and honestly, we are so glad to have our funny kid back that we are willing to believe the rest will work out eventually.