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Open Heart

Open Heart

Susan Henderson

My friend, Christine, lost the father of her child many years ago. This man used to give her heart shaped rocks as a symbol of his love when they were together. Since he passed, she continues to find heart shaped rocks wherever she goes.

She sent me this picture and it made me smile knowing how, even after death, we remember those we loved in our own special way.

My father died over twenty years ago. He was my bright light, protector and biggest fan.

He loved to watch cardinals and pointed them out to us in our backyard where he had built an impressive bird feeder. The father cardinal was so sweet and patient with his babies...he seemed proud watching them learn how to fly.

The cardinals would breed almost yearly in our ravine backyard and we would laugh and watch the awkward babies learn to fly from tree branches outside our kitchen window.

Cardinals are known to be good and protective fathers. The male cardinal shares in the duties of parenthood with his mate, feeding and caring for the mother during incubation. His fatherly instincts direct him to protect and care for the mother and babies until they are safely out of the nest.

After he passed, whenever I see a cardinal, I smile, and remember a wonderful man and father.

While the cardinal’s song can be loud, it is extremely clear. When a cardinal calls out, it sounds precisely like the words “cheer, cheer”. And my father was always my biggest cheer leader.

Not surprisingly, when I moved to my new home, I discovered a cardinal's nest outside our front window.

How do you remember your loved ones?



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