Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Butterfly Story

My mom loved butterflies. She had several flower gardens throughout her yard, and she always planted flowers that attracted butterflies. She had sun catchers and lawn ornaments and garden picks and who knows what else throughout the house and yard depicting butterflies.

On the day of her funeral, my aunt and uncle were sitting in front of the church in their car, right behind us. My auntie told me later that a butterfly landed on her side mirror after her door was closed and stayed there while they waited to move. It continued to stay there through the slow drive through town to the cemetary. Easily 3 miles, if not more. It stayed through the entire graveside service. It didn't fly away until we were able to walk away from Mom's grave finally.

My auntie told me that she and my mom had had a conversation a few years back, and they both promised one another they would come back to say hello often, if one of them went to Heaven before the other.

Could I really believe that my mom could wave hello with butterflies? I wasn't so sure at the time, but you never know.

For the rest of the summer and fall, I saw more butterflies than I've ever seen in my life. They would fly outside my window at work, around my yard, I'd notice them when I was shopping, and so on. It was certainly thought-provoking, but still being skeptical, I thought that maybe I was just more aware of their presence in my life.

Then, late in October, I was sure my mom was telling me she was with me. For those of you who haven't experienced Nebraska weather, late October is certainly not the time for butterflies. It's normally cold, sometimes even snowing. I had a long drive home after a very hard day, and started crying as I was driving on the interstate. At one point, I looked out the window to my left, and saw a single butterfly by my side. I looked to my right, and there was another one by that window. I looked up, to acknowledge my mom, and saw what I can only describe as a swarm of butterflies over my sun roof. It was the most comforting feeling in the world, like I was being hugged. I'm 100% sure that Mom had a hand in that.

Since then, I've always seen butterflies whenever things are tough. I know they're her way of hugging me. No one can convince me otherwise.

Every year, I see my first butterfly of the year on her birthday. I don't know how it happens, but 4 years in a row is too many to be coincidental in my eyes. It happened again yesterday. I was working in the yard with Mike, looked up, and there was a beautiful butterfly flying around the yard, admiring all the signs of spring.

So glad to have spent my mom's birthday with her, one more time :)

{You can think I'm crazy if you want. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. You can even tell me I'm crazy. I'll probably agree with you. Doesn't mean I will ever stop believing in my mom's butterflies.}

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