Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthdays and Butterflies

There was a beautiful yellow butterfly, floating around in the garden at the church as we prepared to scatter my Dad's ashes.  When the minster began speaking the butterfly settled as if to listen to what was being said and stayed on that flower until the service was done.  When the service concluded off he flew to places unknown but we all had seen it.  A year later my daughter is preparing for the birth of her first child, my first Grandchild and we are in New York with her as she waits out those final days.  I was sitting on her porch when I first saw it.  It was floating around the flowers near the steps, lighting for just a second and then moving on.  I looked again just to be sure of what I was seeing and there it was, a single white butterfly dancing on the flowers.  It was as if it was waiting for something, as if it knew something special was about to happen.  The next time I saw it I said, "Hi Dad!  I knew you would be around."  The butterfly landed and stayed.

The anniversary of Dad's death came but the baby didn't.  The butterfly still flitted around the house.  There was a beautiful double rainbow that evening.  "Hi Dad!  Megan is OK.  We miss you!"  Erika was born three days later.  Jay and I had to head home before Erika came home but I suspect there was still a butterfly near the front door welcoming her home.

October 26th was my mom's eightieth birthday and Jay and I were taking her out for dinner to celebrate.  I had ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate icing to take down to her and had only asked that Happy Birthday Mom be put on the cake and that the colors be soft.  When I opened the box to take a peak at the cake it took my breath away!  There on top of the cake was an artificial yellow butterfly.  When I gave the cake to my Mom she was thrilled.  I told her Dad must have just wanted to say Happy Birthday!  When I asked the baker what prompted her to put the butterfly on the cake she said she just thought it would look pretty.  I told her the story about the butterfly and she was touched.

As a teenager my Dad gave me a beautiful book called, "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus.  It is a great book about change and love and growth.  My dad loved this book!  You won't be surprised when you look at the cover, yep a butterfly.

Hi Dad!  I miss you!  Erika has your nose.  Thanks for letting us know you are fine.


1 comment:

  1. Lynn, this is an amazing story and so touching!
    Linda Heironimus