"They knew that it was from God."

By Meghan Overdeep
February 07, 2019

Dorothy Booth of Charles City, Virginia, was loved by all who knew her. When she passed away last month at the age of 97, the matriarch left behind two daughters, 11 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. They never expected that a few weeks later she'd leave her mark on the world.

Before Booth passed, her daughters Debbie and Jeanne joked with her about sending them a sign from heaven.

"They talked many times with Grandma, lightheartedly, even jokingly. ‘Hey, when you get to heaven, see if you're able to send a sign that you're there, and that you're happy,'" Angela Abbott Patteson, Booth's granddaughter-in-law, told The Dodo. "She would say, ‘I'll see what I can do!'"

Patteson said they told her to send a cardinal—one of their mother's favorite birds.

They had no idea she'd follow through with it.

The day after Booth's memorial service, the family was gathered to play her favorite card game (Canasta) in her honor when they heard something at the kitchen window.

"My father-in-law went outside and saw it was a cardinal. It was just sitting there, completely alert and calm — nothing wrong with it," Patteson said. "He was able to approach it and pick it up. He brought it in the house. [Debbie and Jeanne] were just ecstatic. They were taking pictures and crying and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, it really happened!'"

After a few minutes holding it, Debbie and Jeanne decided it was best to set it free outside. The little bird, however, had other ideas.

"They tried to release it, but the bird turned around and landed on her shoulder," Patteson recalled to The Dodo. "They were in sheer delight that that happened."

Patteson shared a video of the incredible moment on Facebook. In just two weeks, it has raked in more than 12 million views.

"This has brought so much comfort to them, to have this prayer answered," Patteson said.

"They knew that it was from God," she continued. "To have this happen has been so comforting. It's really helped my mother-in-law and her sister. This was definitely an answer to prayers."