Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My summer of butterflies

Lauren loved this song by Deborah Cox called “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here.” She had the CD single and played it every time we were in the car together. First the slow ballad, then the dance mix.

One line said, “Knowing these tears I’ve cried, This lovely black butterfly must take a chance and spread my wings. Love can make you do some crazy things.” Almost every time, she would ask the same question. “Mama, have you ever seen a black butterfly?” I would say that I had seen them with blue and white tipped wings, but just rarely. Now, Lauren loved black. She always wanted to buy black shirts, pants, skirts, shoes, purses and anything else she could get her hands on. We almost had to force her to wear any other color. I think that is why she was mystified by the prospect of a black butterfly.

The week she died, it seemed as though hundreds of people came to our house to pay their respects, offer support, bring food and just grieve with us. I often think how hard it must have been to have to come and visit us, shell-shocked as we were.

We were walking someone out one of those horrible days, and this person happened to live nearby the place where her accident happened. They started to tell us about what had happened from their perspective that morning. It was something I did not care to hear, so I began to “tune it out.” I said a silent prayer, and just at that moment, I saw a black butterfly with blue-tipped wings come from the woods next door. It fluttered above our heads and lit right under Lauren’s window. My heart was so full, I began to smile and cry at the same time. I excused myself and went inside.

Thoroughly confused and amazed by what I had seen, I began to wonder if Lauren had sent the butterfly to comfort me. No one knew about the butterflies except Lauren and me. My husband came in and innocently asked, “Did you see that butterfly?” I began to cry again, of course. I told him about the butterfly and Lauren. He could not believe it.

Then I remembered: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. “ (John 14:16-18). In some translations, the word “Comforter” is used. I knew then that I was being comforted by my Lord.

That summer I saw what seemed like legions of black butterflies wherever I went.


  1. I never forget Lauren. Such a sweet, beautiful, and hilarious friend! So thankful for our friendship. Love you!

  2. She loved you so much, Brittany, and so do we. I know she is looking down on us and loving Reid.

  3. I think "That is a Lauren butterfly!" every time I see a black butterfly out at my parents' house!

  4. I think "That is a Lauren butterfly!" every time I see a black butterfly out at my parents' house!

  5. Thanks, Mandy. She loved you and Mel.