“I bit back tears each time I noticed Father’s Day looming on my calendar. It had been only three weeks since I’d lost my dad to emphysema, and not only was I reeling with grief but I was also riddled with guilt.
“In Dad’s final moments, his hospice nurse had called me to say he was fading fast, so I raced to be by his side. But when I arrived, he’d already taken his last breath. ‘He was holding this,’ she’d said, handing me a photograph of me as a child with a butterfly that had landed on my palm, my father standing beside me with such love in his eyes. My heart shattered as I remembered how we’d race through the trees on long summer afternoons, catching butterflies and marveling at their magical colors before setting them free. It tore at me knowing that he’d relived this memory alone. God, take care of him, I sobbed. I love you, Dad, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here.
“The night before Father’s Day, I lay in the dark staring at the butterfly photograph I’d propped up on my nightstand, feeling so alone. ‘I miss you so much, Dad,’ I whispered. Suddenly, my gaze was drawn toward the window. I got up to take a closer look and gasped when I saw two vivid butterflies flitting outside the glass. I live in a tenth-floor apartment—how is this possible, I marveled.
“As I watched the butterflies dance their beautiful ballet, I felt the deep love of my father and our Holy Father fill my heart. It was then that I felt the truth—love lasts forever.”
—Tami Novak, 60, Columbus, OH