Saving the Dragonfly

  • Posted on March 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

When I was about seven years old, I saved a little dragonfly.  It was late-morning, and I was on my way to the library from my house, after completing my chores.  I always liked to get my chores done as quickly as possible because that meant I had more time at the library.

 

As I was walking past the city hall offices, I heard a buzzing sound.  Bzzzz.  Bzzzzz.  Bzzzzzzzzz!  It intrigued me and I went to investigate.  When I was a kid, light poles used to have circular trashcans attached to them, like little trash pods.  They were lined to prevent trash from falling through.

 

The buzzing was coming from one of these trashcans.

 

Being the inquisitive sort that I was, I walked up to the trashcan, which was waist level to me.  The bag was vibrating with urgency, as if whatever was in side was frantic to get away.  I wiggled the bag a little bit and inside, a dragonfly buzzed up at me.  It was stuck between the layers of the bag, struggling to find its way out.

 

I moved the plastic aside, carefully peeling the layer away, my little hands keeping the dragonfly from getting squished.  Suddenly, the dragonfly was free and it flew right past me up into the sky.

 

I often wonder what happened to that little dragonfly.  It made me happy to save it from an obvious bad ending and to see it fly up into the sky.

 

I suppose I can compare that little dragonfly to my son’s life.  I often wonder what could have been.  Would he have been able to breathe and grow and laugh and play?  What would he have been?  Would he have been like me, walking to the library, eager to fall into a good book, going on grand adventures with the characters?  Or, would he have been like his father, studious, creative, and brilliant?  I hate that he’s not here.  I get so angry sometimes.  I watch Gracie as she grows into this little person, full of vivacious energy and life and there’s an empty space next to her, never to be filled.  It breaks my heart.

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