A flash of red

My grandma’s favorite bird is the cardinal. She finds the male’s plumage absolutely gorgeous. Seeing one against white snow is even more thrilling; the red is exceedingly brilliant amongst the white.

My aunt goes for a walk every morning on a path near her home in Illinois. After my papa died, she told us about a cardinal that follows her as she walks, flying from branch to branch, perch to perch.

“I think it’s Dad,” she told my mom.


Today while I was running down a route near school, I noticed a flit of red cross the path before me. It skittered into some bramble.

I stopped in my tracks.

Florence Welch’s haunting voice played in my ears from my iPod as I turned and stared at the bush he had flown into. Without even thinking, I took off after it. I had to see it, just one more time. He sat, perched for me to see, then he took off. I stood there for awhile, dumbfounded.

It seems that things happen when I least expect them to. Papa’s voice, face and stature suddenly appeared vividly in my head. I smiled and nearly cried. Then I continued running.


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