I’ve been thinking a lot about butterflies these past 31 months. I have written about them, cared for them, wrote poems about them, created many memes of them, and created a pretty butterfly memorial garden at my daughter’s school in honor of the 26 Angels of Newtown.
Ever since Dylan’s mom, Nicole Hockley, referred to him as her “beautiful butterfly, and then said the following: “there’s a saying that if a butterfly flaps his wings in one place it can cause a hurricane halfway around the world. And I said that Dylan and all the others that died that day were now our butterflies and that they were going to drive change across the country, if not the world,” they have become a part of my vernacular, and a part of my heart.
Butterflies are believed to be the embodiment of a person’s soul. They are also seen as a symbol of rebirth and transformation.
And as I sit here remembering the events of July 20th, 2012, my mind is once again brought back to butterflies.
I was once again reading about the 12 victims of the tragedy, and thinking about them & their families, when I came across an article in the Denver Post.
There were two survivors of the Aurora tragedy who have to live with painful reminders of what happened every day. Ashley Moser, who lost her 6 year old daughter, Veronica, as well as her unborn child, is now a quadriplegic.
Another one of the survivors, Caleb Medley, who was an aspiring comic before the tragedy, suffered serious brain damage and an eye injury, and underwent three brain surgeries. He requires a feeding tube, has severely impaired movement, and can no longer speak.
He is continuing to improve through his physical therapy, but he & his wife, Katie, are unsure of what the future holds.
This 2014 article in the Denver Post, briefly describes their journey, and speaks about her recent tattoo:
“A butterfly tattoo dominates the inside of Katie’s right forearm, a piece of body art she had done about a year ago, after the first anniversary of the theater shooting.
Within the butterfly is the Batman logo and the date of the tragedy: July 2012.
When she approached the artist, her idea was just to have him create a small butterfly and leave it at that. But he seemed to grasp what she was looking to say, made a few suggestions and then did the whole thing freehand.
Now, she’s thinking of getting another tattoo, perhaps a replica of Officer Grizzle’s badge, in recognition for his part in saving her husband’s life.
But for now, the butterfly serves as a simple statement — a symbol for all that transpired, including details on which the family remains silent pending the outcome of the criminal case.
“For me,” Katie says, “it means new life, newness out of the Batman symbol of what happened to us. The butterfly is supposed to be new, starting over.”
After reading this article I will also think of Caleb and his wife whenever I see a butterfly. I will hope and pray for his progress, and for his happiness. I will hope that his family thrives.
I will also think of all of the victims of Aurora, Newtown, Columbine, Tucson, and Virginia Tech. I will think of the survivors of these tragedies, their families and friends, and I will send a silent wish to them as they continue their transformation to a life they never imagined, nor did they deserve.
I sit back and think of the many butterflies that I have seen in my life. As a child I gravitated toward them as they enjoyed my mom’s rose bushes. I ran, fluttered, hopped and skipped after them, as I hoped they would lead me toward peaceful dreams.
I’m still chasing after them, and I’m still hoping they will lead us all in the direction of love, happiness, and peace……………………♥♥♥
Nuts About My Son
Twenty Six Seeds of Love for Newtown
*the names on this memorial peace sign represent the victims of the following tragedies:
purple- Virginia Tech
dark purple- Columbine
may they all forever rest in peace…..