Friday, May 27, 2016

For my son, Scott

I had planned a different post for today as I thought this one would be too personal to post.
Then I changed my mind,
I didn't want to pretend today was not today.
Today, for me, is the day that a lost my first child,
30 years ago when My first son, Scott, was stillborn.
He had long black curls and big feet,
And looked just like my oldest daughter.
5 years ago I had his footprint tattooed on my ankle, along with a white rose,
So now he will always walk with me.
The rose was added because
My husband and I each placed a white rose on Scott's coffin at the funeral,
and there is a rosebush at his grave.

Recently my other daughter told me she heard that when you see a cardinal in art it is often a symbol of a lost loved one.
Before I knew this I painted a watercolor cardinal a few years ago,
I ended up donating that piece to a local charity fundraiser called 'turtle beach'
Where a local person jumps into the freezing cold lake to earn funds for youth programs.
And I carved a red cardinal out of wood, and named it Fortitude, which is now in the home of a blogging friend.
I painted another one in a sketchbook when I was recovering from surgery about 4 years ago.
None of this is truly unique by itself as I paint and carve a lot of birds.
But, Almost everyday in the last month I have seen a cardinal,
Not in art but a real cardinal.
Now I know what I am seeing is just a bird,
But I have never seen so many bright red cardinals ever before,
I think I see the same one everyday,
he flies across the road in front of me in the morning on my way to work,
And he makes me smile.
And if I don't see him in the morning, I have seen others in different spots later in the day,
Is it just because I am looking for them now?
Or have they always been there for me?


  1. Beautiful painting!
    Happy PPF ☺

  2. Thank you for sharing! I love the fact that this time of year they are busy chasing one another around in hopes of filling their nest. Your sketch is beautiful. Happy PPF

  3. Beautiful post and painting, thank you for sharing your story.


  4. what a heartfelt post and art Andrea. I cannot imagine the depth of your loss but you are honoring your sweet boy so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your heART with us.

  5. I will try to type this as the tears stream down my face....this post touched me so much, for so many reasons. Those cardinals are a sign especially for you! Just for you.. no doubt in my mind. I am so glad you can keep Scotts spirit alive on your blog...such a precious thing to do! I love the idea of your special tattoos... my friends have necklaces of their children made from their foot prints. I am so glad you decided to trust us and share your loss here. We were pregnant at the same time with our daughter born in Feb... I turned 30 the day after your many of my friends children are turning thirty this year... I'm so glad you shared...may he rest in peace knowing he is still loved and thought of! I'm sure your angel watches over you! Beautiful cardinal art too!

    Big hugs Giggles

  6. I don't have to tell you my thoughts. . .of course the cardinals are there for you. My grandmother loved birds, all of them, but cardinals most of all. We have none on the west coast so I have not seen a live one in years. But just yesterday I was asking my mother about that past generation in our family. I knew it was a large family and I recall many of the great aunts and uncles but I had no idea. . . my grandparents had 13 siblings (and a few that passed in childbirth too) and late last night I was thinking quite a bit about my grandmother, about how now it is me who feeds the birds as she used to and how I would give anything to see a bright red cardinal again. And so here I find your touching post. . . your cardinals. . . your messengers. . . and though most would say it is silly, it made me feel very happy because I think it is a subtle sign. However it works, I haven't really an explanation. Nor do I need one. With the research I have been doing for my stories into past cultures I've come to the realization that our very modern "need to know" has diminished some of the magic in our world. And some of that is good. . . but some of it, I think, is a loss. Magic just "is". . . perhaps like love, it's the powerful unseen. Maybe one and the same?

    Thank you Andrea!

  7. I know how difficult this post was for you. Sharing loss is taking a step out,trusting that people will understand, I do. I love the way you worded it, "I didn't want to pretend today was not today" It is the day you honor your Son. The day you feel him closer to you. The Cardinal is a message a love for you. Your beautiful son is close and he watches over you everyday. Love and Light to you.

  8. It breaks my heart when I read this.
    It is very beautiful that the imprint of his foot walks always with you.
    If someday I see a cardinal, I think of Scott.

  9. Such a beautiful and emotional post. I will never see a cardinal quite the same.

  10. You are really brave person not to escape your pain and live with the memory of Scott. just one way to look forward is to accept the pain, to accept the lost. Your are talented, open-mind person. I believe in your happiness! ;)

  11. What a sad but beautiful post. And your artwork, as always, is so striking and evocative. I've always loved cardinals, even though I've never gotten to see one in person, and now I love them even more.