I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason. We meet friends on this journey through life that help mold us into who we are. Some of these friends stay in our lives for a long time and are a constant, like a stream of water flowing through the woods. Others are with us only for a short while, but they can make an impression to last a lifetime. They are like an earthquake- they come into our lives shake us up and really touch us, and then they are gone. The legacy they leave behind is everlasting; it's a gift from God. Mary was like that with me. She came into my life for a brief period of time, but she left an impression in my heart that will never end. And she is still with me. A reader of my blog contacted me several months ago because she was so astounded by my cardinal stories. She had been through some very difficult times and had been inspired by cardinals, too. We began to e-mail each other and she was very curious about Mary's death. She had an inner feeling that she needed to share with me, for she knew there must be more to the story. Well, there indeed was more to the story and I knew some things that had happened the morning before Mary shot herself that I felt I should keep quiet about. I was afraid this information might cause disharmony between Mary's husband and her side of the family, putting the children in the middle. I would never want those beautiful kids cut off from Mary's family. I did not want to interfere. I had written everything down as I knew it and was planning on sharing it with Mary's kids when they became adults. Well, this special friend encouraged me to tell Mary's family everything I knew through our correspondence. I got the courage and the opportunity fell right into place when her little brother David came to visit Mary's grave on her one year anniversary. God does work in mysterious ways! I was able to tell him what I knew and then later I spoke with Jeni, my dear friend, Mary's sister about the situation. They had had their suspicions and what I told them confirmed what they had thought. But it brought closure to us. The miracle of the whole situation is that the friend who encouraged me to tell the family has had many experiences with cardinals since then. Here is one of them:
"WOW! I think you are right. They must be. I have double chills again. Listen to this one... After receiving that email bout voting for the pastor I went on your blog and read your story about the bird who was trying to tell you something. So I went outside and two blue jays flew overhead and I didnt see the cardinal. But I heard him. So I said, "Okay, I am going to listen. Oddly the cardinal was singing in the back yard so I went to the back. When I got to about where it was singing it was gone. So I waited and listened. Now it was coming from my back pasture (I have 10 acres) so I walked. As I got closer I notice their were four cardinals! 2 females and 2 males. And they were on the fence in between the two horse water troughs. When I got there I saw what they were trying to tell me. Each trough had one dead squirrel. It would have poisoned my horses or caused them to ot drink and dehydrate! What a miracle. 10 more cardinal little neat quirks to tell during the next 20 min of clean up to finding your email but my God I can't type forever! LOL We'll just say the cardinal made sure I saw your email right away."
I'm speechless. All I know is that God is great and He is sending us cardinals for inspiration. Pete and I had a headstone made for Mary's grave and placed it out there the other day. She will never be forgotten. So please value your friendships and learn from them. Make memories to last a lifetime.