Why did you let her fly away?

This girl’s main summer goal was to hold a butterfly.

I was so happy it happened today.

Lilly’s entire demeanor changed the second I put that butterfly on her finger.

Her smile was bigger, her giggle was louder, and even her voice grew higher.

For just a few, short moments, she gazed upon a genuinely beautiful piece of God’s creation.

“I’m gunna name her Maya!”

Those moments were precious. They were whimsical. All was well.

But then it was time to let the butterfly go.

The tears.

“Why did you let her fly away?

I love her!

She’s so beautiful!

I want her to live with me forever!

I will miss her too much!”

And suddenly, as I looked into my beautiful daughter’s hazel eyes filled with tears, I saw my own.

And I heard my voice. Talking to God.

About my Sylvia.

This is the same exact conversation I have with Him every day.

Anger. Confusion. Regret. Despair. Repeat.

The parallels don’t stop there, of course. Obviously the butterfly has a life better lived apart from us. Sylvia is enjoying perfection as the Lord intended in heaven.

It’s far better for her.

But it breaks us.

This is the curse of being a sinner and saint. We have hope and joy in the reunion to come.

But the wait hurts. Oh, it hurts.

I told Lilly we would see Maya again. And of course, one of the loveliest parts of being a child is the ability to look forward to things that aren’t actually real.

We will see Maya again. Maya will be any and every Monarch Butterfly who comes to Schuetz Farms for as long as she wants it to be.

Adulthood mostly sucks.


Being a Christian adult allows me to revert to the same hope of a child, one whose faith informs her facts and not the other way around.

The fact is, the next time I see Sylvia she will be MY Sylvia. The very same one I named. The same one I held in my womb, in my arms for too-short if a time, and will hold again.

The very same Sylvia He formed and saved.

Fly well, Maya. We will see some form of you again soon.

Save a seat for me, Sylvie. Your mama is coming.

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