The weather on the day of Daniel's funeral was spectacular. It was early November, 75 degrees and beautifully sunny. When they covered his grave, all of the funeral flowers were placed on top of it. Although the service was long over, family and friends still lingered, and no one seemed ready to leave. I know for me it was a finality I wasn't yet ready to experience. The kids were playing in the cemetery, picking flowers, running around the headstones, finding the joy in the situation as kids tend to do. I have a very clear memory of watching my son with his cousins as they each picked a flower to keep in Daniel's memory.
As I watched the kids, I noticed the flowers on the grave were covered in butterflies. I have never seen so many butterflies in one place. I must have stood there for quite a while, just quietly staring. One of my girlfriends, Megan, noticed too, and explained to me that in the Aztec culture, butterflies were believed to be the souls of warriors. At the time I remember thinking it was very appropriate, and if I'd ever seen a warrior in action it was Daniel as he battled cancer. It seemed fitting that Daniel's warrior soul was receiving an escort to heaven. It made sense in a way, and I held on to that idea.
Since then, butterflies have been my personal sign of Daniel and they have accompanied me in the craziest places: fluttering around my head at Disneyland, landing on my arm while I cry driving down the highway, flying next to Grayson at odd moments, and recently dive bombing me while I walked a pipeline right-of-way (that one was a request, I told him I needed a sign and within a minute a huge butterfly almost hit me in the head! :). I still feel the need to know he's with me and watching over us. It may be crazy and sheer coincidence, but I'm okay with it. I'll take the signs that come my way as gifts regardless. I need all the gifts like that I can get.
Happy Tuesday, see you next week.