Story of Katy, her mother and a secret to comfort a little girl through her mom's death.
| Katy had just turned six years old when her mother became very sick. Her parents had thrown a big birthday party for Katy with a clown who did magic tricks, ice cream cake and games with prizes. Katy had never had a big birthday party before and when it was finished she began to plan her next one. She picked out the friends she wanted to invite, the games they would play and even the kind of cake she wanted to have.
When she was finished planning her party she went to her mother who was resting and asked her to write it all down for her. Katy's mother took the pen and notepad from her and patted the bed for Katy to sit, but when Katy jumped onto the bed her mother made a strange face the way she did when she stubbed her toe on the chair in the hallway and Katy got very scared.
"I'm sorry mommy I didn't mean to hurt you, I just wanted to sit beside you," cried Katy with tears rolling down her cheeks.
"It's alright hunny it's not your fault, you didn't hurt me. Mommy's just very sick right now. But I always want you to come and sit with me whenever you want me to. Do we have a deal?" her mother asked.
“Okay mommy but if I come and sit with you everyday will you come to my birthday party next year? It is on July 20th you know."
"I could never forget your birthday sweetheart, that is the day we first met and your father and I gave you your first ever birthday present."
"What did you give me mommy?" Katy begged to know.
"We gave you something you will carry with you throughout all of your life. We gave you your name, Kathleen Lea Doyle, it was our first gift to you and you will have it long after your daddy and I go to heaven as a reminder of how much we love you," her mother explained as Katy sat close by her side and put her head on mothers' chest.
The sun had begun to sink beneath the trees and it would soon be time for Katy to go to bed. "Mommy are you going to heaven soon?" asked Katy in a quiet voice.
"No sweetheart not too soon and before I do go to heaven I promise to tell you a secret okay?" her mother asked as she gently stroked Katy's golden blond hair.
"Okay mommy, just remember you have to come to my birthday next year," replied Katy as she jumped off the bed and headed out the bedroom door.
"Yes I know sweetheart I will do my best," her mother whispered as she closed her eyes.
Summer quickly changed to fall and Katy began school again. Now in grade one she would run home everyday and climb up on her mothers' bed. She would lay her head on her chest, listen to her heart beating and then tell her mother all the thing's that happened during the day. Katy's' mother listened to tales from the school yard of little boys getting into trouble and of happy days reading, drawing and playing she herself remembered from not so long ago. And everyday when Katy was finished telling her stories she would ask her mother about the secret her mother had promised to tell her before she went to heaven.
"Is it time to hear the secret yet mommy?" she would ask in a cheerful sing-song-voice, but her mothers answer was always the same, "No not yet my sweetheart, I will tell you when it is time," and Katy would jump off the bed to run and eat dinner with her father.
Often she would ask her dad about the secret, but he would say, "That secret is something between you and your mother, I don't know what it is," and then he would ask about her day at school. Again the seasons changed and fall became winter bringing with it snow, days spent tobogganing and of course Christmas.
Christmas morning Katy woke up and ran into her parents' bedroom full of excitement, but her parents weren't there and their bed was made. She turned and ran down the stairs to find her Auntie Leanne asleep on the couch.
"Auntie Lea, wake up," cried Katy, "where are my parents?"
"Katy your mom got very sick last night and your dad had to take her to the hospital," her aunt explained.
"Auntie Lea is my mommy going to heaven soon?" asked Katy in a tiny voice. "No Katy not too soon," replied her Aunt in a sad tone.
"Good because my mommy still has to come to my birthday party and tell me the secret," replied Katy who began opening gifts from under the tree.
Later on that day her aunt dressed her up in a pretty new dress and braided her hair. Then she took Katy to the hospital to visit her mother. When they walked into her mother's room Katy was frightened by all the machines and tubes attached to her mother. She looked so small lying in bed surrounded by all the hospital stuff. But as Katy moved closer her mother opened her eyes and patted the bed beside her for Katy to climb up. "Don't worry Katy you won't hurt me," her mother said as Katy's dad lifted her onto the bed.
"But what are the tubes and wires mommy?" asked Katy.
"This one," her mother said pointing to a wire that went to her chest, "Tells the doctors how well mommy's heart is working. And this one that goes into my hand is where the doctors can give mommy the medicine I need to feel better," she finished.
"Oh then you aren't going to heaven after all are you mommy?" asked Katy.
"No sweetheart mommy is going to heaven and it is time to tell you that secret I have been saving just for you," her mother nodded at her father who brought a present all wrapped in shinny paper out of the little cabinet beside the bed and handed it to Katy with a kiss and a hug before he left the room.
"Open it sweetheart".
Katy tore into the paper throwing it to the floor, and when she had ripped through all of it and opened the box her eyes grew large. Inside was a beautiful stained glass butterfly. Carefully she picked it up from the box and held it up to the light, the bright blues and greens shimmered in the light from the window.
"Oh mommy it's so pretty," gasped Katy.
"Do you know where butterflies come from sweetheart?"
"Of course mommy, they come from caterpillars," exclaimed Katy.
"Yes they do come from caterpillars some of the time sweetheart but other times they come from Heaven. Did you know that," asked her mother softly.
"Heaven, do you mean God makes them and they fly down to earth," questioned Katy.
heart I mean butterflies are all the people who have gone to Heaven that are still loved by someone on Earth. There are windows up in Heaven so people who go there can come and visit their family and their friends on earth," explained her mother with tears forming in her eyes.
"Will you come and visit me mommy?" asked Katy.
"Of course sweetheart and every time you look at that beautiful butterfly I will know you are thinking of me and loving me just as much as if I were right here beside you. And whenever there is something you need me to be here for you just look for a butterfly and I will be right there."
"You are going to Heaven now aren't you mommy," asked Katy softly.
"Yes sweetheart I am going to heaven but do you know what? Heaven is so beautiful I don't want you to ever be sad for mommy okay," asked her mother as her father came to her side and the machine that told the doctors how well her mothers' heart was working started beeping.
"I love you Katy," her mother whispered quietly as she closed her eyes.
"Your mommy's gone to Heaven now Katy," said her father with tears running down his cheeks, "it's alright to be sad and cry hunny."
"But I promised mommy I wouldn't be sad for her," exclaimed Katy.
"Don't be sad for mommy then hunny, but it is okay to be sad for you," he added as she turned to him and cried until she had no more tears.
Again the seasons changed. Winter turned to spring and Katy looked at her glass butterfly everyday. She was waiting for the day when her mother would come and visit her from Heaven.
As spring turned to summer Katy often told her dad she hadn't seen a single butterfly outside and she cried because her mother hadn't come to see her yet. Katy often wondered if her mother would come to her birthday party.
When the day of her birthday party finally arrived and her friends all came. There was ice cream cake, clowns, games with prizes and would you believe sitting on every flower and in every tree were butterflies of every shape, color and size imaginable.
"Look daddy," Katy exclaimed with a big bright smile, "mommy came to my party and she brought all of her friends from heaven!"
"She sure did sweetheart, she sure did," replied her father as they stood and watched all the beautiful butterflies fluttering around them.
And wouldn’t you know, every once in a while one of their wings would gently touch Katy's cheek and she knew it was her mother giving her "butterfly kisses" and Katy wasn't sad anymore because now she knew her mother would always be with her and would always love her.