Friday, September 11, 2009

what reminds us

it was just a small ceramic figurine. a Hallmark knick knack. it was a cheeky baby cherub, all white, holding a bright blue bird. my friend Andrea gave it to me with a sympathy card a few days after my Dad died. i was crying, hysterically, holding the tiny statue in my hand that really meant nothing to me. and then my mom, comforting her hurting daughter, said "every time you see a blue bird, think of your Daddy." and from then on, i do. now and forever, a blue bird is my Dad. perched on the tree in the back yard just checking on me. flying by on a random spring day just to make me smile. or swooping down in a parking lot to give me a fresh perspective. i see blue birds everywhere and i always think of my Daddy.

just 6 months ago my sweet father-in-law went to Heaven. someone sent the family a beautiful fern and inside the planter there was a stick with a very realistic looking but fake Monarch butterfly on the end. the butterfly seemed to be fluttering around in the plant. i thought it was a beautiful, and memorable embellishment. my brother-in-law stayed after the funeral to watch the his Dad's body be lowered into the earth. afterwords he told us that a giant, colorful butterfly was hovering around, landing on the casket as it was being lowered. it was peaceful, he said. he had no idea how beautiful i thought the butterfly in the fern was. to me, it was no coincidence. and from then on, now and forever, a butterfly is my father-in-law. butterflies are everywhere now. even when it isn't butterfly "season," there is one butterfly that lingers. yesterday it circled my car before i loaded up the kids to run an errand. this morning it was on the window screen in the rain when i went to get Bubba out of bed. good morning, Larry.

American flag stickers on cars remind me of 9/11/01. lost and found pennies on the ground remind me of my Pa.

i know that birds are birds and butterflies are butterflies, but i cling to what reminds me of my Daddy and my Larry. the birds and the butterflies are peaceful, like their everpresent souls. they may just be birds and butterflies, but it keeps the memories close.
what reminds you?