I didn’t intend to celebrate this unique holiday. I had other plans for the day that involved purchasing flowering plants for the containers in my mom’s front yard and on her porch. My mother had knee surgery Thursday and she is not able to work in her yard or garden. I looked forward to bringing bright colors to her yard and porch, and also to brightening her day.
I awoke early, so that I could attend a local garden shop’s half price plant sale, and immediately my mind filled with a disturbing image. I “saw” my stepfather calling me to say that my mother was in the emergency room. I checked my phone. No such message was there. But I know how my intuition works. And this premonition was strong. I checked my phone several more times as I prepared to leave the house. Just as I turned onto 32nd Street, en route to the garden center, my stepdad called. My mother was in the ER and being admitted to the hospital.
I was only minutes away. Arriving at the hospital, I learned my sweet mom had double pneumonia. She was very sick and she most certainly felt that way.
The day shifted, and I shifted with it. My mom was settled into a private hospital room, with a pretty view of an enclosed courtyard out the window. I spent most of the day with her, chatting, watching over her as she rested, and talking to nurses, the doctor and Elissa, Dayan, Adriel, her fiancé Nate and Greg when they stopped by.
I had a comfy chair in the corner, overlooking the little garden, content to be with my mom, content to observe the courtyard. The Divine, the flow of life, not only brought National Go Birding Day to me, as my lesson in surrender, the birds were brought to me as well.
Mom and I enjoyed watching a pair of cardinals as they flitted about the tree and bushes outside the window. The male was a gorgeous bright red with distinct black markings. Although the female was not as showy, she was as beautiful as her mate. We were serenaded as the pair hopped about, their sweet songs seemingly saying, “cheer, cheer, cheer”.
Much as I accept my intuitive side, with its quirks and the ability to bring me extraordinary information, I trust that everything that shows up in my life appears for a reason. I looked up the symbolism of the cardinal. These song birds represent clarity and communication (I know Spirit is present with me when a cardinal appears), health, vitality and renewal. Encouraging symbols when one is in the hospital. I read that cardinals are known to be feisty in nature. That’s certainly true of my mother as well!
Watching the cardinals brought peace and joy to me, in the midst of knowing my mother did not feel well. And incredibly, they offered more to us. My daughter Elissa was watching the birds while she and her son Dayan visited Mimi. Suddenly she realized the cardinals had youngsters that they were feeding, one tiny bird in each bush. We peered out the windows, delighted, as the parents took turns stuffing food into insistent peeping mouths. The young cardinals are just about ready to take flight, yet they are dependent still on their parents.
During my research, I read that cardinals are excellent parents, sharing the duties of parenthood. They symbolize a dedication to nurturing and caring for family members, as part of the cycle of life. That message struck me as timely today. My mother has cared for my sisters and for me, nurturing us, loving us, while encouraging us to fly away from the nest and create our own lives when the time was right.
In the cycle of life, the time is approaching to nurture my mother, loving her and caring for her, encouraging her as she continues to live her creative and rich life, as independently as possible, for as long as possible. We’ve flown the nest, my sisters and I, but we are never far away. I want my mom to know that.
I’ll still plant flowers for my mother some time this week, creating colorful living vignettes. However today took me around a different bend in the river. I’m grateful that Mom is receiving great care and should be home soon. I’m thankful for a quiet day spent with her, just being present. And I’m grateful for the cardinals who entertained us, sang to us and made us smile. Their messages of cheer were perfectly delivered and full of hope.