People who have lost someone, particularly those who have lost a child, talk about looking for little signs that remind you that your baby is in the arms of God. They say to look for rainbows and butterflies and things like that. To me, it always seemed cheesy. To think that a butterfly floating by is somehow supposed to bring comfort to the fact that my baby isn’t here always seemed pointless to me. But I have had a couple of moments recently that have been gifts, reminders from God that He is near and that my Gabriel is with him.
A couple of weeks ago, I conquered some big things — some “firsts” since I’d last done them when Gabriel was with us. So feeling a little braver I went to visit Gabriel’s grave by myself for the first time. Tommy and Jack and I have been a lot, but it was my first time going solo. It was really hard and also really good. I love where his body is buried. I love the whole cemetery and I particularly love the part where he is. It’s in the back, so it’s quiet and there’s hardly anyone driving by. It’s so peaceful and so beautiful. I parked my car and just sat there where my baby is buried, sitting with him for awhile. It had been raining earlier that day, so I sat on my rainjacket and spent some time just the two of us. And several times while I was there, the wind blew strongly and perfectly through, reminding me that God was there, and more importantly, that God had my baby with Him.
Then last night, I had a similar but different reminder. I got to take some friends over to show them where Gabriel is buried. It was very special to me to get to show them that little spot that has become so familiar and second nature to us now. We went very late at night and as we all got out and I showed them the area, someone noticed a bunch of lightning bugs. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in nature. They weren’t flying around the cemetery so much as they were in the trees that lined the side opposite from where Gabriel is buried. And they just flashed and flashed in the trees. It was awesome and unlike anything I’ve seen before. And it was undoubtedly a gift from God. A reminder of His presence, and a reminder that Gabriel is in a place far, far better than we are. We miss him greatly here, but he is with the maker of the fireflies.
And so I’ve learned that things in nature are great gifts from God. That they are reminders that my littlest one is in the hands of God and that God is sad with me now even though He knows the greater purposes.