Cory J. Garwacki Foundation, Live to Give
Live to Give in a Way that is Meaningful to You.

Our Cardinal Story

Cardinal Story Cardinal.jpg

As Cory spent his last year living out his final wishes we had many conversations about where we all thought he would be going when it was time for him to leave us. Of course if you knew Cory than you know these conversations were full of hope and dreams and lots of laughter. Even as we all felt the end drawing near, he was so tired physically and mentally but his concern was not of himself. He wanted to be sure our parents, my husband and I along with our children would be alright. He told us he would check in on us. He told us he would come back to visit as a bird and I don't think it took any of us by surprise that this is the messenger he chose.

As long as I can remember my parents yard has been full of bird feeders. To my parents surprise the morning after his passing they were greeted by a cardinal. He was a new bird to their yard with a strong call and a bright red head. They had no doubt in their hearts that Cory was stopping in to tell us he had made it to where he was going. My dad has since made sure at least one feeder in their yard is always full of Cardinal seed. They see the cardinal every day.

Through research I have learned that cardinals are symbolic for many reasons. Here are the ones we feel best represent Corys spirit."

  • Most birds migrate south for the winter; the cardinal weathers any storm.
  • A Cardinals call sounds like "cheer cheer" and is said to be the most uplifting call of any bird.
  • Cardinals stand as a symbol of strength, health and vitality.
  • Cardinals red color is associated with stability, survival and security.

Written by Sarah Mahan — Cory's sister