Remembering my mom this second Christmas season without her, red cardinals have gotten my attention. I've been reaping the benefits of yoga these last few months, where one little red cardinal has been a frequent visitor, pecking on the windows of the studio almost every day. Eventually, I began to notice that a memory of Mom often preceded the bird's visit. He would come and go, and some days I'd forget all about him until Mom's pretty face popped into my mind and then I would hear the "tap .... tap, tap" again. The cardinal has been an appropriate messenger from Mom, always drawing to mind her red lipstick -- the only makeup she ever wore. One of Santa's elves put this token in my stocking this year:
Here she is, Jeanine McKenzie Allen, in a photo taken not so long ago. Can you see why the red bird resonates? I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have had this angel for a mother -- so many blessings.
Mom would have been 74 today. Happy Birthday Mama -- I love you.