Cardinals appear when Angels are near.

"Cardinals appear when Angels are near".

Losing my dad to cancer 29 years ago was very difficult in so many ways. September 2nd was the 3rd anniversary of my mom's death. It was quite a shock as it was totally unexpected, but Mom left this earth just as she would have wanted to. While losing both parents was difficult, I have to admit that losing the second parent added a totally new level of grief. After all, my brothers and sisters and I were now orphans. I was also going through divorce at the time of Mom's death. For me, grieving through and after divorce was very much like grieving the death of a loved one. 

Last year, I really struggled with Christmas. I was divorced and now living in my own house that didn't quite feel like home yet. I was grieving. I was living a life that was never part of my dream or my plan. Yet, I did have so much to be thankful for. I was living near my daughters and my sister and her family who loved me and supported me. I didn't know many people in my new community, but I was meeting people through my work as a Visiting Angel. I was missing my Stampin' Up! team, customers, and friends I left in Cincinnati, but felt their love and support in many ways. I had a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood and was looking forward to putting my own touches on it and making it my home. 

As I felt like I was living on a roller coaster of emotions, I knew that I was a survivor and that I would be happy again. I also knew, though, that it was up to ME, to make the choice to learn and grow and thrive in order to be happy again. Everyday, I looked for ways I could do that. I needed to focus on the positive, take notice of the good in my days, and recognize the things that brought me happiness. There were certainly days, many days, that this came easily to me. There were also days that the grief, loneliness, and loss could be overwhelming. Then I'd get a call from a family member or friend or my sister would stop over unexpectedly (after I cried on the phone to her) because she knew I needed a hug, or I'd have the opportunity to meet up with Andrea or Emily. All these things may seem like small things, but to me they were BIG things. And if I was really lucky and really aware, I'd see or notice things that brought back happy memories for me. These were the most special as they reminded me that no matter what I was, I am, and always would be loved. 

Eventually, the Christmas tree went up and the house got decorated with the help and support and love of Andrea and Emily. I knew I needed to add some new things to my holidays even though I love and find comfort in tradition, perhaps some new traditions or new decorations, in order to move forward. I looked and looked and looked for something with 2 cardinals to represent the presence of my mom and dad with me during the holidays. Unfortunately, I never found that thing. But that was ok, I knew a "thing" was only a visual reminder. I didn't really NEED it to know, Mom and Dad were still with me helping me through my grief.

Boy was I surprised and delighted when I came across this beautiful ornament with both a male and female cardinal while on a girls' trip last month. I'll hang this ornament on my Christmas tree this year, knowing that I am a survivor of grief, grief of many kinds. It will remind me everyday that great sadness and grief mean that I have loved deeply, and for that I am grateful. 


It appears that Stampin' Up!'s Cardinal Christmas Stamp Set and coordinating products are quite popular, perhaps for some of the same reasons I love it so much. Here is a #simplestamping card I designed for you. 

Download Project Sheet – Cardinal Christmas Greetings Card

Cardinal Christmas & Greatest Part of Christmas Host Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

PS…have a favorite school or team whose mascot is a cardinal? This is the stamp set for you! Happy stamping, Cardinal fans!


Stampin' Up! products used:

6 thoughts on “Cardinals appear when Angels are near.”

  1. What a lovely and encouraging post. Very Uplifting. Some days the smallest things make the biggest impact on our lives. Thanks for sharing. Yes, you are lived!

  2. My Daddy used to feed all the birds and critters and people who came to our house. We always joked it was The Keller Hotel. They would take in all kinds of strays. My Dad loved to feed the birds, Cardinals in particular. They would almost feed out of his hand like the chipmunks did. Dad would sit in his sunroom and the male cardinal would flutter outside his window until he realized he was there. The Cardinal would then fly back to the bird feeder where Dad would then see it needed to be filled. Both of my parents now have a Heavenly address and When I see a cardinal they are the first ones I think about. I whisper an I love you mom and dad, and thanks for visiting me today. Thank you for your beautiful story. God bless you.


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