Why Couldn’t He Save Himself?

why couldn’t he..


Such a beautiful thing, the butterfly..

I saw a butterfly the other day….which was nothing new as I see them almost every day. It was at my window and kept flitting around so I went out on the porch to see what was going on. It kept flying by me and then settled down on the wicker chair. I walked closer and I honestly could have touched it. I didn’t for fear of hurting it in some way. This happened two days in a row. I know they say when you see a butterfly it means a loved one is near and I know how much my son loved butterflies so I think he sends them to me to let me know he is doing good and just wants me to know that he is thinking of me.

But this latest butterfly sighting just made me think back to when my son was around 6 or 7 and wanted to have a butterfly collection and hang it on his wall. We got him a net and he would catch butterflies all day long till he couldn’t see them anymore due to darkness setting in. He would then transfer them into a jar and wait for them to die so he could pin them on the board.  He did this for weeks with no problems. That is until the day the beautiful large butterfly he caught would not die.

He would look in the jar and ask me why it was not dying like the rest of the ones he caught. I had no answer for this question and just told him to be patient (something he was never good at) and it would die just like the others. But it didn’t.  It hung on for over a week or so and he became extremely upset that this particular butterfly was going through such a hard time. He went from wanting it to die to trying to save it. He fed it and held it and cried over it, pleading for it to live. Of course it did eventually die and with it his love of butterfly collecting.

This started a life long endeavor to save things…animals, bugs, and eventually people.. He went hunting a few times with his father and once even shot a squirrel. His father had it stuffed and he hung it in my son’s room. He could not even look at the squirrel and into the attic it went. And also it ended his hunting career. Although to appease his father he did for a short time take up bow hunting. When I asked him about it, he quietly told me he wasn’t very good at it so he knew he wouldn’t be able to kill anything.

He was always bringing home a sick animal or some kind of reptile and would try to nurse it back to health. He found a hawk one time that had broken its wing and called the park service to see what he should do, they told him they would pick it up and take care of it.  I knew it was hard for him to let them take it but he did. They told him they would let him know when it was well enough to be released and that they would call him when that would happen so he could watch. He didn’t think they would do that and was so upset that he had let them take the hawk. But they did. They called him and told him it was ready to be released and he watched it fly up in the sky to freedom. He was so excited an happy when he told me about this.

His “taking care of things” didn’t stop with animals and insects. He always had a soft spot for people who needed help and he was the first one there to help a friend or relative when they needed it the most. Sometimes I wondered why he did this as these same people were never there for him. He once told me that it didn’t matter if they were there for him, all that mattered was that he was doing what he thought he needed to do. He was a very loving person and gave of that love so freely.

My son, my Dave, was a warm and giving soul. He gave so much without asking for anything in return. He saved so many in his short life of 46 years. And as I asked the butterfly that flew around me for 2 days….If he could save all these things…Why couldn’t he save himself?

”We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill


33 thoughts on “Why Couldn’t He Save Himself?

  1. What a beautiful post. No, I can not imagine the pain of losing a child. I had never heard of that saying but it is interesting that I was moved to read your post today. Today, I mourn the 3rd anniversary of the death of my childhood best friend. Perhaps the butterfly I will be featuring in tomorrow’s post was her spirit, hovering near me. I will never think of butterflies in the same way again.

    1. Thank you Alana…and so sorry about your childhood best friend..I lost mine too…it is so hard to keep losing people we love..but the butterflies mean they are with us still…

  2. What a loving post Renee on your son. I wish we could know why this beautiful man has left this world but his reasons are forever elusive and unanswerable and my heart goes out to you!

  3. He sounds like he was a wonderful and caring child and man Renee – and sometimes there just isn’t a logical answer to our question. We never quite know what is going on inside the head of someone else and it hurts to know that they’ve gone and we don’t get the chance to fix them or understand them. One day it will all be clear xx

  4. Renee, my heart is hurting for you today. Your dear son sounds like a precious soul, a very kind and loving person, just the person that the world desperately needs. I believe that God uses people like Dave to spread love in the world. However, I also believe that God will not allow His “little children” to suffer and calls them home when they have given their all. God knows the heart of all of His little children and He is a very loving God. He watches over His own. I also believe that Dave is with the One who loves him more than even the one who gave birth to him. The Good Shepherd is watching over Dave now and keeping him safe and loved until you go home to be with him. He is being loved and watched over more than we can ever imagine. Take heart, Renee. The best is yet to be.

  5. This makes me so sad. The most sensitive people are usually the ones that really get hurt by life. And yet, the most sensitive ones do so much good, because they are driven to help all forms of life. And why couldn’t he help himself? That’s the question of the universe. Most people really do not like themselves. If we had someone in our life that would treat us like the way we treat ourselves, we would throw them out of our lives. Hugs <3

  6. awww sweetie, such a great but sad post…Dave is sending you messages and possibly apologies. God only knows why . A friend of mine from the club just did this yesterday….no one knows why, just heart breaking. Love ya 😪😪💟💟

  7. Oh, my sweet Renee, wish I had an answer for you. All I can do is send my love and hugs. Your writing is beautiful and so full of emotion. What connections you create with your words.

  8. Oh my, Renee…what a heartfelt blog. We learned a bit about Dave and his caring nature. And of course, he is with you always, as you well know. One more guardian angel to see you through life. Take care.

  9. Your blog was very well written. It is a testament to your writing abilities that you can put your emotions into words so that those who read your blog can be exposed to your inner feelings. I look upon the butterfly sighting as a very positive sign. David made his journey in life to be one of caring not only for people but also for four legged and winged friends as well. The butterfly sightings let you know that he is watching over you and still possesses that caring spirit that dominated his life. I can only imagine what sadness you still harbor over his untimely death but the sightings hopefully will help to bring you some solace to deal with these difficult feelings. May you continue to be able to use your writing abilities to offer your own personal source of therapy and may the butterfly sightings keep reminding you that you are on the right path.

    1. Thank you so much Andy…yes, it does help me when I write these posts..it is good to be able to put it into words…I know Dave is with me every moment of every day..

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