87: The Dragonfly Kiss

87: The Dragonfly Kiss

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

The Dragonfly Kiss

The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way.

~Joyce Carol Oates

On August 18, 2015, my beautiful, amazing mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer out of the blue. In the blink of an eye, our lives turned upside-down. Why did this happen to her? She never smoked, she was otherwise healthy, and she always did the right thing. People were completely shocked.

Mom was loved by so many. She had been an amazing, hardworking secretary at Melrose High School for years, and now she had to stop working and start fighting for her life.

On the day we got the diagnosis, I was sitting outside with my two older sisters. We were talking about how sick mom was, and that it didn’t seem like we were going to hear good news later in the afternoon. We were all nervous and crying. All of a sudden, a dragonfly sat on my foot and stayed there throughout our entire conversation. I thought that was sort of strange, but I just smiled at the little creature through tear-stained eyes. Later in the afternoon, we got the dreaded news.

A week after Mom was diagnosed, I took a walk with my dog to clear my head. As we were walking back to my house, a dragonfly flew into my hand and stayed there. I thought this was really odd. Since when do dragonflies come around and land on us more than once? I had to call my sisters and tell them maybe it was a sign of hope that Mom would be okay. We went to the hospital to tell my mom, and she said, “Wow, that’s really weird. Don’t you girls remember that bag I bring to work every day? Your aunt gave it to me and it has dragonflies on it.”

Over the next few months, my sisters and I saw an abundance of dragonflies around us daily. I remember walking outside and seeing way more than I had ever seen before. Some would even land on me.

Fast-forward to the morning of December 20, 2015. I woke up to a dream of dragonflies in all different sizes and colors flying around me. That day, I felt different. I was nauseous and sick to my stomach. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. I went to church and cried the entire time. I visited my mom in the hospital. At this point, she wasn’t doing well. She had had a stroke, and the targeted treatment she was getting didn’t seem to be working anymore. Before leaving the hospital, I told her I loved her, and she said, “I love you, too. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Those were our last words. In the early morning of December 21, 2015, she died unexpectedly.

Through all these hardships, little dragonflies kept visiting me. Every time I visited my mom’s grave, they were there. On her birthday, one flew into my hands. My sisters and I ultimately decided to get matching dragonfly tattoos on our wrists in memory of Mom.

But the most amazing thing happened on September 4, 2016 — the day my mom had tried to live for. It was the day I was getting married.

It was a beautiful day. I wore the dress that Mom picked out two summers before. I lit a candle for her and had it glowing all night. I put little details throughout the venue that reminded me of her.

Then, at the end of the reception, when the last song was over, I heard a scream coming from my sister. I thought something was wrong, that someone was hurt. I saw her pointing to where she had been sitting. A dragonfly was perched right on my family’s table. I went over and scooped it up. I couldn’t stop crying. It lay in my hand for a couple of seconds, and before it flew away, it brushed my cheek. My photographer was there just in time to catch this amazing shot, which means so much to me.

I can’t even begin to describe how I felt at that moment. I just knew my mother was there. She wouldn’t have missed that day for the world. Janice Seelley, my amazing mother, came to my wedding and gave me a kiss goodnight that I will cherish forever.

~Eva Spaulding

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