I believe in the magical power and spirit of the butterflies.
My daughter Laura and I went for a drive one afternoon. We were in search of the house of a man who had placed an ad advertising a car for sale. When we finally found it, we noticed the car parked outside on the driveway. We looked at each other and without saying a word, nodded our heads at the same time and we both knew we had found the car we had been searching for. We didn’t immediately stop; instead ,we parked a few houses past it to go over our purchasing plan. We decided on a price cap and we were not going to pay one dollar over.
When we went back to the man’s house, he came out and we proceeded to take a closer look at the car. We asked if we could take it for a test drive; the man agreed and we all got into the car. On our way back from the drive around the neighborhood Laura and I started to talk about the price. Before we could make an offer the kind gentleman, having gone through it with his own children, lowered the price below our expectations without us even asking. Laura looked at me and smiled with sparkles in her eyes. She knew then the dream of having a car of her own was now a reality, and she smiled all the way home. It was late afternoon and it had turned dark, so we went to get the car the following day. When we arrived back at our house, I couldn’t help notice the butterflies hovering over the flower beds, and Laura still had that smile on her face.
Less than a year after that day, Laura was involved in an accident with that same car. A police officer showed up to our door with the darkest news of our lives. It was as if the sky turned black and some evil force had reached in to our chests and pulled our hearts out and waved it in our faces. There aren’t enough adequate words that would describe the feeling this had on us as parents.
Five years have gone by and still seems like yesterday. My wife is now a different person. At times being alive seems like a daunting task that, no matter how hard you work at it, never gets done. Even though it does not get any easier, I have the memory of her smile to get me through the days.
I believe the butterflies come to our flowers to bring us her smile and beauty and for a brief moment it feels as if she were here with us. Sometimes the wind brushes against my skin giving me a sense of her presence.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.