Wednesday, September 7, 2011


This post is for my Aunt Laura and Aunt Kristy.... whether you realize it or not, you both push my writing out of my comfort zone and embrace what comes from my heart...I have been struggling for the right words for the last few hours... trying to find the right words to explain a topic that is taboo... but I guess I will stick with my 'open and honest' policy ....

During the time after Palmer's death and before his funeral, I found myself talking to him late at night. Unable to sleep and curled up with a stuffed giraffe, I would close my eyes and start talking. At first I would see small flashes of dim light. By the time I was done talking and saying what was on my mind and in my heart, the light would be strong, steady and bright. There was always a sense of peace after these conversations.

Since his funeral, I have been trying to juggle the pieces of my life. Trying to figure out how these pieces will fall back into place has been a challenge. Not only am I working through my grief, I am trying to help Spencer work through his. Between our grief,  my efforts to get Spencer settled in school and getting  my work schedule back on track, I lost my time with Palmer. The last few weeks, life in general was kinda rough. It was safe to say I was physically, mentally and emotionally spent. My heart ached and my arms felt empty. It was during my lowest moments that I realized these conversations filled a void in my life and they needed to start again.

There were no flashes of light this time. Rather, I started seeing butterflies.

At the mailbox. By the front door. Following the lawnmower. At the cemetery. Picking vegetables.  Every time I turned around I would see one perched watching me. I would like to say, that just because we live in the country, butterflies have not been a common sight. Actually, I could probably count on two hands the number of butterflies I have seen in the last two years. One night in particular was Spencer's first day of school. When I came home, there were two butterflies waiting by the front door. As I walked up the sidewalk they both swarmed at me and swirled around my head. They took turns resting on my shoulders, one on each side. They kept this up for a good 15 minutes until Scott got home. When he parked his truck, I could tell by the look on his face that he couldn't figure out why I was spinning in circles with an odd smile on my face. I explained to him the symbolism of butterflies. That some believe it is the transition between life and death, a sign from our loved ones that they are alright. It is also a sign of hope. He then asked me about the significance of dragonflies. He went on to explain that during the last week, he had a swarm of dragonflies riding along on the cab of the combine. For him, regular bugs are a given, dragonflies are not. My only thought was that Palmer sent him the manly version of a butterfly.

I thought more about the movements of the butterflies. It was almost like a kid who was really excited to show or tell something. I imagined this is probably how he would act bringing a new friend home. "Hey mom! Meet my new friend!" The trailing butterfly reminded me of Spencer and how he often follows me around wanting to help out or just curious as to what I am doing. Sort of like "Hey mom! What are you doing? Can I help?" It left my heart lighter and happier.

I have seen fewer butterflies since the bumps have evened out. Perhaps they will return when the next rough patch hits. Some may say the timing and actions were purely a coincidence. I prefer to see it as a reminder of a beautiful life.

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