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God Wanted Me to Smile Today
My brother died a little over a year ago. He took his own life. It was one of the most devastating things of my life. I have lost others, including my mom and my dad but the grief from suicide is different...
My brother died a little over a year ago. He took his own life. It was one of the most devastating things I have ever experienced. I have lost others, including my mom and my dad but the grief from suicide is different - it's a grief that makes you wonder eternally if there is something you could have done. So the days leading up to the anniversary of his death were tough. I had been asking God for a sign that everything was okay -something that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, would comfort me and let me know that everything was going to be alright.

On the date of the anniversary, my family and I were getting packed to take my daughter on a college visit. I spent the morning thinking about my brother and how we always went to see the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team play. It's one of the things I remember about him most. How he loved those Cardinals! He had once even taken me to see them play in the World Series. As I recalled the fond memories of us and the Cardinals, I decided that, before taking my bath, I should go downstairs to check my phone... I knew my sister would be calling on that day to commemorate my brother's loss. As I passed the window, I stopped in my tracks as a bright red cardinal walked across the patio. Tears filled my eyes because Cardinals had been on my mind all morning and now here was a beautiful cardinal sent to me on this significant day. I went to get a camera but he flew away. He returned but still he was he was too fast for me. "God wanted me to smile today," I thought. I went on about my business, but a little later that morning, I said "I am just going to look out the window just one more time and see if I see him." At that very instant, there he was again and he flew from the tree outside my window and across the yard. Amazing!

How amazing that this happened on this day, the date of my brother's death... Had it been any other day, I just would have said "oh there's a cardinal" and never thought any more about it. But because it was that day, it was amazing! But even more so, I thought about the time of day that this happened. And after thinking about it and even researching my old phone records, I determined that it had to be within 5 to 10 minutes of the time I received the call a year before about his death. Truly, maybe even the exact moment!

Since this occurrence, I did some Internet searches for "signs from God" and the "meaning of cardinals." That's when I discovered that the cardinal has a symbolic and spiritual meaning to many. I had only thought my encounter special because of the connection my brother and I had to the Cardinals, and how God had chosen to send this cardinal as a sign for me because it is something that would mean something to me. I had no idea of the many people who have seen cardinals during time of loss, grief and sadness and who felt like they were being sent a message from God (or their loved ones) to say that everything is going to be alright. Reading the many stories has inspired me, given me great hope, and strengthened my faith. How wonderful that God would take time out to show me something that would get my attention, make me smile, and bring me comfort, as I had asked!

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Afterword:
So when you're feeling sad and low
God wants completely that you know
How very much He loves you so
He wants to make you smile!
This Story is Dedicated to: My wonderful brother, Gerald, better known as Mootsey Sent From: Indianapolis , Indiana, -United States,

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Go Back Added 2012/07/02 | Updated 2013/11/19
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