April 13, 2014
I never know when something is going to make me think of my parents. Today, it was in church when the congregation got ready to sing 'The Old Rugged Cross', which is tune I had not heard let alone sung in a many years. In fact, the last time I sang it might very well have been in church with my Mom (she passed away in 1991). Anyway, when we started to sing that beautiful tune this morning, I found myself choking up and struggling to sing as I started thinking of Mom and Dad.
As I left church, without even thinking about it, I hummed that tune over and over...just like Mom used to do when we drove home from church. If there was a particular tune from church service that stuck with her, that would be the one she'd hum on the way home. Dad told a story that had to do with that tune, but I can't remember what it was about. I remember it being special, but for some reason, it escapes me.
Instead of going straight home today, I decided to drive over to visit Mom and Dad's resting place in St. Peter's Cemetery. On my way there while still humming 'The Old Rugged Cross', as I just went over the railroad crossing, a pair of mourning doves was in the opposite lane. They both looked up at me simultaneously. Mom really liked birds, so I thought that was sort of interesting. It would get more interesting shortly....
....as I pulled into the cemetery, as soon as I got out of my van, I was greeted by what sounded like a chorus of cardinals surrounding my van. I got tears in my eyes, as my Mom's favorite birds were cardinals. After she passed away, different times when we'd encounter a cardinal (or cardinals), Dad would make a comment to me that "you know, cardinals were your Mom's favorite bird". Over the years, I heard that many times from him. Anyway, I said a prayer by their stone and when I was done, the "cardinal chorus" was done, too. Coincidence? Not sure about that.
So, even though it's still the morning of Palm Sunday as I type this, a song, a short drive, a pair of mourning doves and a cardinal chorus have already made today very special and memorable, and yes, a bit sad and reflective.
Happy Palm Sunday 2014!