Cardinals a sign that deceased aunt and uncle are reunited

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comJanuary 22, 2013 


    Email David Lauderdale at

Thanks to Kathy Snelgrove Philips of Spanish Wells Plantation for sharing a poem special to her family.

She modifies a children's classic in memory of her uncle Richard Rochow, who passed away in October. He and Barbara Rochow opened Forsythe Jewelers on Hilton Head Island, and were longtime Sea Pines residents and islanders.

"When my dear Aunt Barbara Rochow passed away in March 2008, she did not hesitate to show up immediately thereafter in the form of a red cardinal on her back deck in Sea Pines," Kathy writes.

"Go figure, but there she was again greeting me at 8 a.m. on MY back deck the morning after her husband passed -- when suddenly HE appeared in red cardinal form just above her!"


By Kathy Snelgrove Philips

'Twas the morning after Uncle Dick passed

when all through my mind,

Not a sound lingered

nor spoken words of any kind.

The hazelnut coffee was percolating with my thoughts deeply sad,

And I prayed for those who knew him as brother, uncle, friend or dad.

While the higher realms guided his safe ascension to the light,

His children blew him teary farewell kisses with gigantic might.

And my husband with his cup of Joe, and I wondering why it was so,

Had concluded that perhaps Uncle Dick, well, peacefully wanted to go.

When suddenly out on the back deck was a bird dressed in red,

I blinked twice to make sure I wasn't losing my head!

Away from the kitchen window, I rang out like a bell,

"It must Aunt Barb chirping Uncle Dick is well!"

She was beautiful, the most striking female cardinal I ever saw,

Serenely she drank dew drops of water; we observed her in awe.

When, what did my moist eyes mere seconds later see appear,

but a handsome male cardinal perched above her on the railing, oh dear!

With a loving nod to each other, so joyful and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be Uncle Dick!

More rapid than a rocket, my Aunt Barb flew up to greet him,

And he twitched, and twirled, and tweeted his children and sisters out by name.

"Now Debbie! Now, Susie! Now Pammy and Hawk!

On Dot! On Dawn!

On Phyllis and Ruth!"

"To the top of the deck, to the top of the clouds,

Always know how much I LOVE YOU...

and my friends and relatives, too!"

"I fly away! Fly away!

Fly away all!"

"I fly away! Fly away!

Fly away all!"

And then in a twinkling, a wondrous message my beating heart revealed,

Dick and Barb were at last divinely reunited in spirit, officially decreed, signed and sealed!

As I sipped my coffee, and glanced at the sky, the cardinals magically disappeared in fast flight,

And, with love and thanks to them both and a Pooh Bear wave of goodbye, never have I witnessed a more miraculous, angelic sight!

Fearlessly fly in love, light, joy and gratitude to all, and to all a peaceful and blessed night!

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