Cardinal Thoughts

Put a fishing pole in my hand, listen to the water, hear the birds chirp, maybe shiver from the cold or lift my face towards the warming sun.

This is when I do a lot of thinking, you watch the line for a jerk, and your mind wonders as you sit waiting on that bite. I am a patient person and I can get lost in my thoughts.

I watched a cardinal land nearby, if you don’t know a lot of people think a cardinal is a sign. A sign of a spirit, some say.  I recently lost my father, who loved to fish so I take comfort in the sign of the cardinal because I was unable to call him opening day and tell him how many trout we got. To hear is way to go, or to share his stories of first day trout. Some I have heard many times, some that have changed over the years as memories seem to take on a world of their own. I will forever miss these ever changing stories.

I often don’t let people into my head or share these thoughts with anyone; they are thoughts when I let my mind drift. They are personal to me, person to what makes me, simply put.. me.

I share them today only because this simple bird got my mind going to how we mourn so many different things.  Mourning comes from so many different levels, be it an old friend who you no longer share experiences with, a death of a loved one, or simply time passing and changes in our lives.

My mind wondered to sitting on the banks of the water at Sharpsville, watching my youngest daughter mimic my father fishing. Seeing my dad in his familiar fishing hat smiling at her and telling me soon she needs switched to an open reel instead of the old trusted Zebco, many of us learned to fish on, myself included.

My mind wondered back to when I was a little girl and my dad showed me how to fish. Out at Moraine state park with my old zebco closed real and the first fish I caught. Hearing my dad say, if you don’t touch the worm you can’t fish. The same philosophy passed down to my children, because there comes a time when they need to learn to bait the hook and remove the fish themselves.  My oldest daughter still has a hard time baiting a minnow, she feels bad. My youngest has night crawler races and would kiss one if you told her too.  Ones 20 the other is 12.

I mourn even the changes of friendship. My best friend and I spent a summer of fishing and doing silly things, even that has changed. Our lives have changed, it did not change our friendship, but our time together has changed.

I mourn the loss of my older daughter being home and being along for family outings, she has a family of her own now and I can only hope she passes down the same things to her to her own daughter. I don’t want her to blink some day and miss out on creating memories that she will remember and some day mourn as the passing of time. These are the types of mourning that make us realize we did our job right, but are still a loss to us.

I mourn the loss of innocents. My sister and I growing up, differently than a lot and I will leave it at that and trying to become sisters that most our friends had, but life impeded us in many ways. Our lives are different and one is busier than the other.  This does not change the fact we love each other like sisters should and are there when needed. 

A cardinal, and free time and a mind that never shuts down leads me to my thoughts, leads me to remember there is mourning in memories, mourning even at the happiest times of one life, a mourning even during happy moments.

People always say when they lose someone they will change certain aspects of their lives. They will become better people, they will do things differently. The truth is, life goes back to the same thing. But some day you may find yourself sitting on the banks of the water, and looking back at your own life and mourning the changes, these mourning’s are not always a sad thing, they are a reminder of a good life, memories, and what you may miss about something.

Take the time to let your mind wonder and to remember all the things that have brought joy to your life, mourn their passing and make more memories you will mourn. Because in the end, I would rather mourn all the good and all the things that have touched me, so that I have known I have had a good life.

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