I wrote this post twice. Version 1 was a pretty sad recap of what this week looked like for Kami and I seven years ago. The week we lost our first son, Lukas Clark Moore. Then, after picking up Ian from summer camp, I went outside to play a bit with our dog Blue and enjoy a comfortable August afternoon outside. Something showed up that changed my mood a bit.
Ever since Lukas passed away, butterflies have seemed to show up at just the right time. In fact just days after we lost him, a butterfly sat on my shirt for more than an hour while I worked outside in the yard. We’ve had them play on Ian’s head in the pool for extended periods, land on Ian’s baseball cap at Tulsa Driller’s games, and even on me while I sit outside on Father’s Day. Whether you believed in signs or not, it is a nice and calming reminder of my son, Lukas.
Today the butterfly featured here in this post showed up. He (I’m just going to assume He for the sake of the story) was the biggest, and most beautiful butterfly I’ve seen all summer. And he didn’t just come by to get some food. He stayed on the plant the entire time I was outside. He even stuck around long enough for me to get Ian to come out and see him. He didn’t fly away when a 5 year old started trying to catch him, he just fluttered out of reach like he was playing with him. Perhaps he knew that I had just cried my eyes out remembering the tragic events of seven years ago and just wanted to stop by and cheer me up.
So as I sit here now, seven years removed from the worst week of my life, I am reminded of those brief moments I got to hold Lukas. I got to tell him how much he meant to us, how much we loved him, how much all those people he never got to meet would remember him. I leaned toward the joy of having Ian, a healthy, smart, crazy, creative, and beautiful boy. I got to lean away from the heartbreak I feel when I think of how much Ian is missing out because his older brother died. How they didn’t get to get into trouble together, or play catch, or tag. I was reminded by a butterfly how fragile life is, and how thankful I am to have Ian.
Losing a child isn’t something you get over, or even get through. It alters you. It is forever a part of who you are and your paradigm. I know that I’ve changed over the last seven years. Some good, and some bad. I hope as Ian grows up, we are able to make Lukas proud of us as parents. I hope I never stop running into butterflies when I need something to remind me of how fortunate I am. Being a parent is hard, but becoming one is just as hard for some of us.