5 Cardinals in a Dream

A little over a year ago, I lost my father to kidney cancer. It was fast, traumatic, and horrible to watch. We all felt helpless. All we did was cry, pray, and repeat. Just horrible.

Before all that, my father and I had been through some tough life battles together. My biological mother passing at age 4, his 2nd marriage being the longest living disaster any human could experience, and so much more. He endured all of it. There were even things that happened in his childhood he would never speak of to me. I thought that after losing my mother, I would get to keep my father for longer than I did. *sigh* We had a lot of wonderful memories over the years as well, but the battles were enough to count for lifetimes of many men.

Right now, I’m reading the book Esperanza Rising. My 10 year old is reading it in school and I want to be able to support her learning. If you haven’t read the text before, there’s a little girl who loses her father years before his time. Some parts of the story are very triggering, and I actually had a conversation about this connection with my best friend the night before.

My current mother, whom I call “Mummy” with a British sort of accent ( I don’t know how this came to be), believes the plump, bright red cardinal in the backyard that frequently perches on a branch just outside the living room window of their home is my father coming to visit her. I’m glad she finds comfort in this occurrence.

Last night I had a dream. A dream that I was walking on a bright, warm, sunny summer day with Mummy. Then at some point during our venture, we pause our walk under a tree. She looks up, points, and says to me in a calm, almost whisper, “There’s a cardinal.”

Following her pointed finger, I see the cardinal too. But as my eyes focus on more of the detail around that cardinal, through the scattered rays of the sun peaking within the leafy tree branches, I see 4 more cardinals. In all, there are 5, and it’s almost as if they’ve frozen in time, just in that very moment.

My best friend and her fiancé gave me a gift this past Christmas. I included a picture, because this is exactly what it looked like to me in my dream, and while my mom connects with cardinals, I connect with my father through dreams. Coincidence both happened at one time? Not sure, but I’ll take it. I sure do miss him and it seems every single thing reminds me of him (books, songs, cardinals, dreams, etc.), so I’m grateful for the moments when I believe he has visited me too.

My biological mother, father, and me (Go ahead and laugh at the leash. It is quite comical. 🙂 )

2 thoughts on “5 Cardinals in a Dream

  1. Cara Wegrzyn

    Losing parents is never easy, and cancer just sucks! I can feel the love for your father throughout this Slice. It was a pleasure to read this.


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