Paige Sharp with Adilade, Feb. 27, 2018.

Sometimes life takes a turn that is very unexpected. With the current situation unfolding on a global scale, most are feeling that as of now.

For one local resident and her family, tragedy struck suddenly two years ago. Not one of them could have been prepared for what happened to one of their most precious members, and none expected, or could explain, what followed.

On March 7, 2018, Melanie Johnston received news that no grandparent ever wants to hear. Her infant granddaughter, Adilade, had died as a result of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The family was devastated.

Two weeks later, as another granddaughter was visiting, a beautiful cardinal appeared in the window of the room where they were.

“Oh, look, it’s the Adilade bird!” announced the child, Paige.

Johnston was so surprised to hear her say that. She called Paige’s parents to see if they had spoken to her about a bird, and they said they had not. She then asked other family members, including her son and daughter-in-law, Adilade’s parents. All were surprised that Paige had come to that conclusion with such enthusiasm, entirely unprompted. And no one could explain it.

“That bird has come every day since then,” Johnston said.

She said the bird, a male, has not missed a day – no matter the season.

“When my son comes (Adilade’s father), the bird always shows up, no matter what time of day or night,” said Johnston.

She said that two weeks after the bird’s first appearance, she and her husband, Kent, were coming home from an outing and their fig tree, near where they park, was filled with more cardinals than they could count.

The family has no explanation, but Johnston says it gives them peace and they all like seeing the bird.

Johnston said the red-feathered visitor often comes several times a day, in all kinds of weather. She said it goes to various windows, to where they are in the house, and it persists until they acknowledge it in some way.

Johnston’s family was recently blessed with a new addition. Adilade’s parents have a baby boy. Her daughter-in-law asked her, after he was born, if she thought the cardinal would still come.

“It hasn’t missed a day,” said Johnston in telling the story. “It’s been here many times today, even in the pounding rain.”

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