singing little details

17 Jul
red ceramic cardinals

a flock of cardinals by SongandBranch

 

We’re still working on the big elements of wedding planning — finding the venue, you know — but I’ve started to form thoughts and ideas for the sweet little details that will make our wedding personal and offer sentimental notes to my family and friends. One of those elements involves the cunning little ceramic birds in the picture above. But first, the story:   

My paternal grandmother was the much-loved and treasured center of my father’s family. Among her loves in life was a deep appreciation for nature, and cardinals were a favorite of hers. I remember her home was decorated with them — figurines, towels, dishes. She became ill with Parkinson’s when I was a teenager, and it claimed her life in the fall of 1997. When she passed, my aunts began to tell stories about seeing cardinals and knowing grandma was with them. I laughed at first, but then I started experiencing it myself. For example, a few years after she died, while I was still away at college, my parents called to tell me that my little brother, a serious high school multi-sport athlete, had been badly hurt in a football game. His knee was destroyed, he’d need surgery, he’d likely never play sports again. I was distraught, knowing what kind of pain he was in, and took a walk just off campus to a wooded area. I was crying, trying to pull myself together, when I heard a loud bird call. I looked up to my left and saw a flash of red in the bush near me. I thought of my aunts, of grandma, and was touched and comforted.   

Many times in my life since then, during both joyful and painful moments, I’ve found myself in the company of a cardinal. In fact, on the morning after Sweets proposed, we were sitting together on the couch of our living room, windows open, calling friends and relatives with the happy news. After hanging up the phone at one point, I heard a familiar song outside. “Babe,” I said. “Listen. I think I hear a cardinal.” Sure enough, I looked outside at the tree in our back courtyard, and there he was. A bright red cardinal singing from the branches. I wept. Gosh, I’m even crying as I write this. And I just remembered that yesterday, the day I finalized the deal with SongandBranch, was my grandmother’s birthday. Cardinals did it again!   

So, since my grandmother and other special loved ones (including my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother) who have passed will not be with us as we celebrate our marriage, these small ceramic birds will be placed throughout the room. I hope that when my family sees them, they’ll know our loved ones are with us and celebrating, too.   

I’m thrilled to have found SongandBranch, an Etsy seller, who is willing to make a dozen of these ceramic cardinals in a not-quite-so-mini size. I will be touched and comforted to see them nestled among flowers and in other places of honor at my wedding.red ceramic cardinals

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2 Responses to “singing little details”

  1. Jen peachbride July 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    That is just beautiful. What a wonderful way to remember your grandmother.

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