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Cardinal Experience: Hope
Hope
June 20, 2018! I will forever remember this day and the days that led up to this day. That Sunday, Nichole’s friend asked me could I take him to church. It was Father’s Day and I was in a rush to pick Nichole and her friend up to take them to church. He enjoyed the service and wanted to come back the next Sunday. He had wanted to meet and speak to the pastor, but I told him maybe next Sunday because I was hungry. Later, I would regret I did not stay so he could talk to my pastor. The next day Nichole and I enjoyed a mother and daughter day at the nail shop. I fussed over how much money I had spent on nails and toes, and Nichole laughed at me. Later, I dropped her off at her apartment. Around 6:00 p.m. Nichole called me and told me to stay on the phone while she walked her dog. After she walked back to her place, I told her that I would see her after her class to get her hair done tomorrow. Nichole and Renae were suppose to be in a wedding later that week. I told her I loved her and said goodnight. I said my prayers and went to bed early and slept like a baby. The next morning, I had to have Renae at her hair appointment at 8 am. Later, I was suppose to get on a bus to Huntsville for a PD. On the way to Renae’s hair appointment I received a phone call from an associate of Nichole. He asked, “ Have you seen or heard from Nichole.” Well, I usually call Nichole every morning, but that day I was rushing so I had not called her yet. This associate goes on to tell me that two people were shot at the building she lived in and wanted to make sure Nichole was okay. I immediately called Nichole on my way to Renae’s hair appointment. She did not answer. I called again and again. Nichole always answers her phone for me I said to myself. I called my sisters, Jackie and Renae. Jackie told me to calm down and call my husband, Darryl to check the apartment. My sister, Renae told me to call the Morgue. I called and asked the Morgue did a girl around 23 years old come in. He said yes, “What is her name?” My heart dropped as I said, “Carolyn…....” He came back and said no, I do not have a Carolyn Nichole……..Thank you, Lord, but where was she!! I dropped Renae off at her hair appointment and met my husband at Nichole’s apartment. My husband had called the police. The police would not make eye contact with me when I asked him about my daughter. He just said she was at the hospital. (Later, I learned that it was so much blood on Nichole’s head that the police report indicated that she was shot in the head, so maybe that is why he was so quiet.) My husband left his car and drove me to the hospital, and said he didn’t want to hear anything negative coming out of my mouth so I was very quiet. He is positive about everything. We arrived at the hospital and it seemed like it took forever to get to Nichole’s ICU room. A nurse met me and asked was I her mother and I said, “yes.” Nichole had been there since 1 something a.m. in the morning and I didn’t even know. The nurse said she was a fighter and came in trying to tell her something. She was probably trying to tell the nurse to call her mother. She said Nichole had multiple bullets and they had to do surgery. She had been shot 8 times. A song came in my head. I walked passed Nichole and really didn’t look at her until later. Yes, A song-”Come On in the Room!” Do you have a closet? I wanna call my doctor, and I need to go to the closet. Jesus is my doctor. I could not find a closet so I found a corner in ICU and I fell on my Knees. I begin to pray and when I got off my knees something fell off me, and I told God that I trust Him and I put Nichole in His hands. My family will tell you when I got up, not a tear dropped from my eyes. I said, “Lord, let Your will be done.” Nichole didn’t open her eyes for a day. My sister, Renae said she saw a glow and a strength that she had never seen on me. I felt strength. I also felt I had to be strong for my family. My cousin once said, “Bonita, it is okay to cry.” I smiled and said that I am okay. I never left Nichole’s side until she was in the clear and everyday I saw something miraculous happen to Nichole. Her eyes opened! She couldn’t speak, but her eyes told me everything. Her friend that I had taken to church and wanted to speak to the pastor had been shot in the head and died. Her dog had been shot. I could feel her pain. I smiled at her and let her know that God is a healer. She had many surgeries the next few days and I begin to get tired from lack of rest. I walked downstairs and sat and looked out the window, and I saw a red cardinal. I thought to myself, “Why is a beautiful red cardinal in the midst of all these buildings instead of in a forest or among trees?” It was strange, but I left and went back to the room. A few weeks later, my husband and I thought it was time I go home and take a bath. On the road going home, a red cardinal flew in front of my husband’s car. I screamed, “Don’t hit the red bird!!” My husband thought I had lost my mind. I told him to go back, and when he went back we saw a brilliant beautiful red bird lying on its side. No blood, just lying there. I reached to get my phone to take a picture. When I looked back, the bird was gone. I was standing right there. My husband said the bird flew away. I was like, but it was lying there. I walked down the sidewalk looking for that bird. I was so upset the beautiful bird had been hit by the car that I did not go in the house. Instead, I called my sisters while standing in my yard and told them that Darryl had hit a beautiful red bird (A red cardinal on the way home). As I was talking to my sisters, two red cardinals flew in a tree near me, and then flew to the ground near me. I did take their pictures. No, I am not crazy. This really happened. I believe it was a message of hope. Nichole’s spine had been damaged. She was told she may never walk again. Nichole was shot in the neck, mouth/jaw, left arm, spine damage, and left leg. Just like that bird, Nichole was lying on her right side when she was shot. She had been sleep and was awaken by arguing and gun shots. She was shot only on her left side. I was preparing myself mentally for Nichole to be in a wheelchair for life. After they replaced Nichole’s jaw with a new metal jaw, weeks later, Nichole begin to speak and told me she was going to walk again. She kept saying it and she believed it. Her quick recovery amazed even the doctors and me as well. Later, she met Kerry. She couldn’t hardly even walk and he helped her and stood by her. Later, he married her and I wish them much happiness. I now take life one day at a time. I thank God for the opportunity to just be able to see my daughters and family smile. I thank God for this miracle!! God had something else for Nichole to do on this Earth. We take so much for granted. This was a life changing event for me. Life is different for me now and now I just try to enjoy my family. I laugh with them and at them. I pray for my daughters. I had so many expectations for Nichole and Renae! The expectations of what I thought they should do and be like. I got lost in trying to make them into what I thought they should be and I forgot how to just enjoy my daughters and their life. Go to college and get your degree is what I said daily, and Nichole just stayed in college just to make me happy. Sometimes taking one or two classes. LOL I have learned to let go, and let them live their lives without the demands of society and what others think. Step back and let God! I am happier than I have ever been because I let go and I let God! Lil Renae’s choice was to attend college, not mines. I will support her. Nichole’s choice was to marry and go back to college in August. This time it was her choice, not mines and I will support her. Whether they change their minds, fall, and get back up, I will always love and support my daughters. Sometimes we just have to step aside and pray. God hears us. Love with all your heart and always put God first! Faith, Love, and Hope! I hope this testimony helps someone else! God is still a miracle worker! Never give up! keep Praying! Love one another, live, and be happy!
This Story is Dedicated to: My beautiful daughter, Nichole Sent From: Thomasville , Alabama, -United States,

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