March 18, 2022

“While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard.” Mark 14:3 NLT

How do you select an urn for your sister’s ashes? The ones at the funeral home were costly, and I didn’t want to make a hasty decision, so I did what I do for most purchases. I shopped at Amazon. I had no idea that the size of the urn is based on the deceased person’s bodyweight. Apparently one size doesn’t fit all! I also had no idea about the variety of choices available on-line!

I was looking for something classy with a bit of bling, to suit Carol’s tastes. And then I saw a white urn with a red cardinal perched on a swag of pine branches, holly berries, and a splash of white azaleas. The women in our family have a thing for cardinals. They were our grandmother’s favorite birds. Every Christmas card she sent had cardinals on it. When she died, we began to pay more attention to cardinals. When we spied one, we’d say, “There’s Gram.” After our mom died, we’d say there’s Gram and Mom. We began to give each other gifts with cardinals on them. When our sister Jane died 15 months ago, I added her name to the sighting.

A few days before Carol died, I was sitting at my study desk, and noticed two cardinals, a male, and a female on a branch of the maple tree outside the window. You might think it crazy of me, but I spent some time talking to them, and thanking them for showing up at just the right time. Later that day I went to visit Carol. She was awake, and I told her about the cardinal sighting. She said, “I saw them too.” It turned out to be one of the last times she was able to speak, and I treasure the memory.

It’s not a beautiful alabaster jar, but I think it Carol, along with all the others who have gone before us, would be pleased.

For cardinals that remind me of family, I give God thanks. ~ Anne

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