My grandmother passed away exactly 9 years ago. I can remember getting the call from my mom like it was yesterday. It was the first time I had experienced a loss of a family member. She had been sick for a while, so we were all expecting it, but still, it hurt and it made me sad. She died about a week and a half after I moved away from home for my first job after college. I moved almost 4 hours away from my hometown for a job I really didn't want so that I could live in the same town as my then-boyfriend (now my husband). I went to my grandmother's home on the night before I was to leave. I went to say goodbye, but I didn't realize that my goodbye would truly be my goodbye. The last thing I had said to her was, "Bye, Gram. See you soon!" I didn't even tell her I loved her. I hope she knew.
On the night that my grandmother died, my mom went to her home and found a dragonfly on the ledge directly outside of my grandmother's window. The dragonfly was dead, but it was still beautiful - completely intact, light green-pearlescent body whole and unharmed, and its wings still spread, looking as though it was simply resting a spell. My mom took that dragonfly and saved it, and I like to think that it was a sign from my grandmother letting us know that she was okay. You see, my mom and I, at the time, were big into collecting all things dragonfly, and I'm pretty sure Gram knew that. I think my mom found some peace in finding it. I know I did.
Every time since that day that I've seen a dragonfly, which isn't often, a mere handful of times, I like to think it's Gram saying hi and letting me know that she's looking out for me.
This morning, Nat and I were playing outside while Savannah napped. It started out a perfectly blah, grey day. Cloudy, overcast, and a light drizzle, but muggy enough that I was comfortable with him playing outside. As we started walking onto the grass in our back yard, a huge mosquito buzzed by my face and I swatted it out of the way. I hate mosquitoes. They give me the creeps, especially the big ones that look like they could suck the very life breath right out of you. It came back, and I swatted it again. Persistent little fellow. It wasn't until I approached Nat's Little Tikes castle that I realized I hadn't swatted a mosquito. It was a dragonfly - a beautiful dragonfly with translucent wings and a green-pearlescent body, and it had landed directly in my line of sight on the top of the castle. I called to Nat to take a look, and as we walked closer, the dragonfly fluttered its wings once and took off, flying right by my face, and went up, up into the sky until it could no longer be seen. It was only a moment later that I remembered.
I've read that dragonflies are attracted to water, particularly running water (lakes, streams), flowers, and things that are shiny. We don't have any of that in our back yard - just grass and the muted colors of several oversized outdoor toddler toys. So was this just a coincidence? I don't know. I'm not a big believer in signs, but I haven't seen a dragonfly in years.