I don't know if I believe in signs...but I know I believe in symbols. I'm an English teacher. The whole world is symbolic. I look at butterflies as a symbol of Charlotte.
I've always thought of butterflies as good luck. When they fly in front of you, it's supposed to bring you luck for the rest of that day.
When Charlotte died, I chose to believe that part of the meaning behind her death was that she would be watching over my family as an angel, particularly Mia and my (God willing) next child. I plan to tell Mia about Charlotte a lot, so that it's just a part of who she is. My hope is that, when something lucky or happy happens in her life, she'll remember her baby sister and think that maybe she had something to do with it. Maybe she'll even say thank you.
So, putting those two ideas together, when I see butterflies, I think of Charlotte. She's bringing luck and love to my family.
The other night, Mike and I were sitting on the couch after Mia went to bed. It was raining. We were thinking about Charlotte and being a little sad. I went to let the dog out for the last time that night...and right outside the sliding glass door, sheltering under the second floor overhang on our deck, was a large, beautiful monarch butterfly. I put my hand down next to it, thinking that I could move it to my covered front porch where there's more shelter from the rain...and it flew into my hand. Then, when I urgently called Mike over to see, it flew from my hand and landed on my shirt, over my heart. It sounds cliche, but it really happened. I walked through the whole house with the butterfly resting over my heart. When I got to the front porch, I gently scooted it into the flower pot next to the front door.
When I went back inside, Mike asked me what I thought it meant. So now I have to ask myself...do I believe in signs? Was Charlotte letting us know that she was near, and that she still loves us? That she'll always be in my heart? Was she giving us permission to move on? Was she simply letting us know that she appreciates us loving her? Or was this apt symbol just a coincidence?
Regardless, I felt close to my daughter that night.