FOURTHEditedMy dad loved life in all its glory. Especially, nature. He was endlessly amazed at the beauty of the world around him and never tired of watching a cardinal or two invite themselves into my parents’ yard.  He loved everything about the cardinal—the bright color, the melodic tones of his song and the majestic way it held its head.  Luckily I have always felt that same love of nature.

One early afternoon, some time after my dad’s death, thoughts of him again resurfaced.  Lew was in his office quite preoccupied and I walked over to the window that overlooks  our back yard. It had snowed the night before, but only just enough to tip the tall pines giving a wonderful contrast against the deep green of the trees. I shouted out to Lew and said, “You know….it’s so perfect out there, it looks just like a postcard.  All it really needs is a big, red cardinal to make it complete. “  So, I stood by that window and I searched (secretly hoping to see the finishing touch). And I looked. To the right. To the left. Up toward the sky….straight ahead. Nothing. Not one bird. Not one cardinal in sight. Not today, I thought.

As I started to turn and walk away, I took a quick last peek. And there it was. Smack dab in front of me—sitting as still as could be and perched on the pine tree branch as if it had been there all along.

At that moment I knew. The power of the Holy Spirit had sent that message to a daughter with love from her dad.

Laraine D.