What does it take to make us stop and be silent long enough to look within,
To hold still so that we can better hear the shadows speak.
We can’t see in the dark but we sense that something is there.
The other morning I was sitting on my porch when Lee sped by on his bike and called out, “It’s not raining!”
“Yay!” I yelled back, and a few seconds later he had u-turned to come say hello.
He sat down and said it was supposed to be raining but it wasn’t, and the same thing had happened the day before. While we shared his morning ‘breakfast’ we watched a bright orange Monarch flutter around the ivy and settle on a morning glory. I don’t have a lot of flowers growing and I mentioned how I wished I had more for the butterflies and Lee said,
“I like that purple one.”
The butterfly flew towards us and away and back again before flying back for the flowers and he said, “A butterfly flew through my arms on my way over here.”
I asked him what kind had it been and he nodded towards the orange one. “That kind.”
One week later, the Sunday we found out that Lee had passed away, I was home with the kids and thinking about Lee and the butterflies when our little one began to beg to go to the Butterfly ‘Museum’. He didn’t know that I was thinking about ‘that guy with the floofy hair’, as he called Lee. Later, we had to go to the grocery store and just as I began to wonder if he was still thinking about the butterflies, he demanded again to be taken to the museum and I told him that I was pretty sure it was closed but we would go as soon as possible. The next day I was sitting outside and as soon as my mind turned to Lee, an orange butterfly landed on a leaf and sat there very still for a while before flying off again. Again, just a couple of days ago, I was sitting outside in the same spot I had sat with Lee and I had just finished writing something about him when a massive angel-winged black swallowtail with a wingspan the length of my hand lit on the same morning glory flower Lee had pointed to just a few days before.
My mother had loved butterflies and since she passed away they have always been my little sign from her. Maybe Lee knew that I would be watching closely and I might notice that he loved them too.