Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home

I work with a young woman whose mother died two years ago. The death seems to have been very sudden and quite traumatic for all the family, and my colleague fights back tears every time she talks about her mother, especially when she references her own kids, the grandchildren that her mother barely got to know.

This past summer, one of this woman’s cousins got married, so of course all the extended family was there. She and her cousin have always been very close, and just prior to the wedding, they found some time to talk alone. Her cousin told her how much she missed her aunt, and that she felt that there had been no closure due to the sudden nature of the death. She explained that although she didn’t really believe in it, she had gone to a psychic to see if her mind could be put at ease.

The cousin didn’t want to say too much to the psychic, since she wasn’t too sure if this stuff was reliable or not, and she certainly didn’t want to influence what might be said to her. But it seems that the psychic told her immediately that there had been a fairly recent loss in her life, her aunt perhaps? Without waiting for a response, she went on to say that this aunt wanted her to know that she was fine now, that she was no longer in pain, and that she was so happy to have died at home rather than in a hospital. The cousin knew that her aunt had always expressed a fear of hospitals and knew that this last comment by the psychic was true.

The psychic then said to the cousin, “You’re getting married soon.” The cousin had deliberately not worn her engagement ring to this appointment, but she nodded. “Your aunt wants you to know that she’ll be at your wedding. She will be in the form of a ladybug and she wants you to watch for her.”

My colleague and her cousin cried a little over this, and then it was time to get ready for the wedding. Things were very busy, as weddings are, and both of them had other things on their minds than ladybugs.

At some point during the reception, my colleague and her cousin were sitting together at a table. Suddenly her cousin gasped. “Look!” she squealed, pointing at my colleague’s bare shoulder.

There, sitting quietly, was a ladybug. Not only that, but there was a small weird shadow on the woman’s shoulder, near the ladybug. It was shaped like a heart.

Both women froze. Then the cousin said, “We’ve got to take a picture!” She grabbed my colleague’s phone and took many. The ladybug sat there graciously, as if posing. So did my colleague. The two women examined every photo taken. The ladybug and the heart-shaped shadow were clearly visible in each one. Then the ladybug flew away.

To make a long story short, that’s what this young woman told me one lunchtime at work a couple of months ago. She showed me the photos. I saw the ladybug and the heart-shaped shadow. I hugged her, tears in my eyes, and thanked her for sharing such a personal story. I don’t know why she told me – we’re work buddies, but that’s about it – but I was quite moved by the whole thing and thought about it for a long time.

Then three nights ago, I was sitting in my living room reading. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and saw – a ladybug that had just landed on the back of my couch. In November. Indoors. Instantly, my colleague’s story came into my head. Then I thought about losing my own dad almost seven years ago now. And as I looked at the ladybug, the next word out of my mouth, almost involuntarily, was “Dad?”

Of course, the ladybug didn’t reply or actually do anything, but something made me say quietly to it, “We’re okay.”

The ladybug then flew away.

Now I know why that young woman at work told me her ladybug story.images

3 responses to “Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home

  1. A sad, sweet story. Makes me think of the old song ‘Lucky Ladybug.
    I like ladybugs, even if their houses have a propensity to erupt in flames.

  2. I will never look at a ladybug as an annoying insect again.