Friday, July 5, 2013


fireflies are magical to me.

i'd only see them once in a blue moon back home, and
when i moved to iowa, i would see them all the time.

it was on the July 4 weekend in 2011 that I, for the first time, saw
fireflies in abundance at my old home.

it was almost dusk - late at night in the northern U.S., and
you could just start to see stars in the sky.

i was outside after a pretty tough few days,
this one in particular including me yelling for my dad to spit out a piece of chicken because i witnessed him going into a petit mal seizure.  he did, and
he was fine, but
it was just another tell-tale sign of the end.

so that night i went outside on the deck and looked
down toward my backyard.
in circles and swoops flew little blinking lights,
and i stood there in a bit of awe.

there were dozens, maybe even fifty or more,
and they swirled around in a mystical kind of way.
I had never seen a single firefly in my backyard - not in the almost
twenty years my parents owned that house. 

then, the next evening,
after a fairly traumatic 4th of July trip to the
emergency room with my dad (that had nothing to do with fireworks),
we headed back to illinois before my dad took his last turn.

on the way back,
i kind of wished we got to see some fireworks, maybe because it was the holiday,
and maybe because i just wanted a little normalcy. 
this wasn't the fourth that i had expected,
which was what it was,
but what i couldn't have expected were the fireflies.

again, we saw them,
on the way back while driving on some country highways,
they bobbed up and down through tall grass along
the roadside ditches.

this probably won't make that much sense,
but i really felt God's presence with that;
i knew i was going into uncharted territory, even with 20+ years of
experiencing the effects of my dad's cancer.

the little thing like fireflies, which
almost never existed around my home,
showed me that something extraordinary would be present with me and my family.

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