My Aunt and Nora's Great Aunt Sue was witness to an amazing spiritual experience this past month on vacation with my cousin who's brother died earlier this year in a Motorcycle accident. It seems that maybe even after death, Brian is still speaking to those he loved the most. Just maybe. I'm don't know the answer, but it's a powerful story my Aunt has to tell about another young soul lost too soon.
I like to believe that sometimes we are connected to those we lost through the wonder of nature. My sister and I talk of how we imagine our parents, who we lost many years ago, sitting on a star, watching over all of us. This year they were joined by my great niece, little Nora and my great nephew, Brian. Brian just turned 19 years old with so much life in front of him.
A few weeks ago I vacationed with my sister’s family. It was a bittersweet vacation, as Brian and his sister had been going on vacation with Grandma (my sister), Grandpa and their Uncle for 12 years. Brian just loved this annual vacation, being out on the lake and enjoying the water. Before I left on vacation, I wanted to find a way to honor and remember Brian while we were there. I thought about a wish lantern as Brian enjoyed the night cruises on the lake. However, I was worried about starting a fire with all of the gorgeous trees around, so I settled on river rocks. I put Brian’s name along with his years on earth on the rocks. I thought we could leave them in some of Brian’s favorite places as the week went on.
My sister decided to place a rock near the pier of the cottage where they usually stayed for this trip. She spent some time looking for just the right spot when I butterfly landed on the shore. It seemed to say to her “Right here!” The spot was well protected but yet open enough to have a view of the boats coming in.
One day we made our way by boat for a tour of an historic cave. We docked the boat and as soon as we stepped onto the pier, a butterfly appeared. The butterfly stayed with us as we climbed the stairs to the cave opening. The next thing we knew, it was on Brian’s sister’s finger. While we waited about 15 minutes for the tour to begin, the butterfly stayed either on Brian’s sister or with someone in our group. I said “Maybe it’s Brian. He wants to go on the tour with us”! His sister’s eyes got so wide and a huge smile lit up her face. Once inside the cave, the butterfly stayed with Brian’s sister until we were ready to move to the next chamber in the tour. Then it flew up and landed on what was called the pipe organ, a wonderful formation of stalactites. We continued on our tour, taking in the beautiful formations. In order to leave the cave, we retraced our steps and once again were in the chamber with the pipe organ. The butterfly was still there, as if waiting for our return.
Later in the week, at a one of Brian’s favorite restaurants, a butterfly joined us at the table. We talked about what to order as the butterfly stayed close by and marveled at the fact that we had another member to our group again. Brian sister had just told me how she and Brian ordered nachos last year at this restaurant and they were pretty good. A few minutes later, the butterfly flew off the table and landed on her menu --- on the page of appetizers, right next to the nachos! As we ate our meal, the butterfly remained at the table, sometimes appearing to dance with the music, but always near Brian’s sister.
Tonight I received a picture taken of Brian’s sister and her boyfriend while we were on vacation. The picture was taken at another placed Brian enjoyed and looked forward to going to each year. In the background, near my niece, is a butterfly.