Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hello, “Sweetie”

From time to time I will share small vignettes and character sketches I’ve written. The one below is a tribute to my (late) mother, Anna Alzo.

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My mother’s favorite bird was the cardinal. She would leave peanuts for them on the railing of the back porch whenever she heard the familiar chirp. Mom especially liked it when the male cardinal would turn up because she could admire the beauty of his red feathers. After my mother passed away in 2000, I inherited the numerous cardinal statues and ornaments that she accumulated over the years. Some were gifts from me or other members of our family, while others were collectibles she bought for herself now and then. I have a few of them displayed in a curio cabinet in my dining room as a way to honor my mother’s memory.

Many years ago, my mother was given the nickname “Sweetie” by two of my younger cousins, Kim and Todd. Mom used to watch them when they were very young so my Aunt could go to work, and would always refer to Kim and Todd as her “Sweeties” so from that time on, she became known as “Aunt Sweetie,” or just simply “Sweetie.” Not long ago, my cousin (Todd) remarked that whenever he sees a cardinal outside his window he thinks of my mom and says, “Sweetie’s dropping by for a visit.”

For the past several weeks whenever my husband and I would sit down to dinner at the table in our own home we would hear the distinctive chirping of cardinals outside the dining room window. A male and female cardinal would routinely perch themselves in the bush that brushes against the window. We remarked how they sure seemed to like that particular bush. A few days ago, I noticed the female cardinal in that same bush again, and then upon closer look, saw that she was sitting contently in a nice little nest tucked away nestled the leaves near the top of the bush! So cute! I’m convinced that my mom sent her to watch over me.

I have tried unsuccessfully to snap a picture of the little “Sweetie” but I think she is camera shy. Nevertheless, I hope that she will continue to drop by for at least a little while longer.

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