Part 1 of this short story can be found here.
The next day Cassie sat on the edge of Matt’s hospital bed and told him about the butterfly she had seen. Even as she was describing how pretty it was, one came to land on the outside of the window.
“Look!” she cried to Matt. “That’s it!”
They both held their breath as the yellow and black wings fanned out as it clung to the ledge. Suddenly it turned its body as if to look in the window at them. They watched it in silence, not daring to move.
“It’s looking at us,” Matt whispered.
As it flew away, Cassie looked at Matt and said, “It came to see you before you went to heaven.”
At Cassie’s words, Matt reached out and touched her hand.
“Will you miss me, Cassie?”
Cassie nodded. “Yes. You’re my best friend.”
“I heard the doctor telling Mom and Dad that it won’t be long now. There isn’t anything else they can do to help.”
“Are you scared?”
Matt shook his head.
“No. Jesus will be there waiting for me.” He smiled. “So will Grandpa Newman. Maybe we can go fishing like before.” His smiled slid away as he looked back at Cassie. “Don’t forget me.”
The next day, Cassie once again sat on the front step, asking God why He didn’t make Matt better. Suddenly, the butterfly was there again, landing on the sidewalk at her feet.
She heard the phone ring and then heard Mama talking. She watched the butterfly until Mama came out and settled on the step next to her. The butterfly flew away and Cassie looked up at Mama.
“What’s wrong, Mama? Why are you crying?”
“Honey, that was Mrs. Newman on the phone. Matt went to heaven this morning.”
Cassie leaned into her Mama’s arms and cried.
A few days later Cassie went with Mama and Daddy to what they called a funeral. Mama explained that it was so that everybody could say goodbye to Matt.
Mama had told her what would happen, about going to the place where Matt was and about going to the cemetery. She didn’t really understand it all, but knew that it was important.
As they stood outside and the minister talked about Matt, Cassie suddenly reached out and gripped Mama’s fingers. A yellow and black butterfly landed on the flowers in front of her.
Cassie watched it as it settled there, lifting its wings gently into the air. Suddenly, it lifted off the flowers and flew to hover around her face and head; then flew away.
Now, as she sat on the step and remembered, she found herself wondering about that butterfly. She hadn’t seen another one like it in all these years.
“I miss you Matt,” she said softly into the silent summer afternoon. “Even now I still miss you. I know that you are better there in heaven, but I wish you could have been with me all these years.” She lifted her chin and looked at the sky. “I thought about you today at graduation, wishing you were here to go through it with me.”
She sat in silence for a second, eyes closed, thinking about how Matt would always be an eight year old boy in her mind, even as she grew and aged. She sighed.
“There have been so many things that I wished I could talk to you about, so many things that I wanted to share with you. We used to have so much fun. Remember that butterfly that came to the hospital window?”
Just then she felt something brushing against her hair and opened her eyes. There in front of her was a yellow and black butterfly, identical to the one from all those years before.
It settled on the sidewalk at her feet for a minute or so and then flew away, leaving Cassie full to overflowing with gladness, joy and God’s comfort.
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012
* * * * * We will be leaving Saturday morning to drive to Rhode Island to attend our grandaughter’s baptism and will be back home Monday afternoon. Please pray for traveling mercies for us, and for the Lord’s work in our granddaughter’s life. Praying all of you have a blessed weekend.