See, rainbows and butterflies have always been special to the Patterson's and to Rowan when thinking about Chrissie. They saw many rainbows while God was confirming for them that they should go adopt Chrissie from Serbia, then there was a huge rainbow painted inside the orphanage when they got there. Rowan wrote Chrissie a note in the sand (with my help) after she passed away and then he saw a rainbow in the sky and immediately said "Mom, Chrissie loves it!" Rowan had a dream after she passed away and says that Chrissie told him to tell her Mom to look for her in everything that is beautiful: like rainbows, flowers, birds and butterflies. Rowan then raised butterflies from caterpillars and released them at Chrissie's grave one year. Amazingly, Lorraine saw them around the grave later, coming back to visit.
Here are some pictures of the cake, cupcakes, and cake board that we took out to them today:
Once we got to the ranch, we all talked about how bright and colorful and Chrissie-like the cake was, Lorraine mentioned that the butterflies were perfect too because her Mom always loved butterflies and her birthday would have been next week as well. She said there were always butterflies everywhere decorating her house as a little girl. Then she told us the beautiful story of how last year as they were celebrating what would have been her Mom's next birthday (she passed away the Christmas before), all of the sudden a yellow monarch butterfly started flying around in a bouncy house that the children were playing in. She explained how, in the middle of October, out of nowhere, this butterfly just kept landing on the children's heads and seemed to be playing with them. They just felt like it was her Mom, visiting the children. I had not realized that Lorraine's Mom had liked butterflies too, or that her birthday would have been next week, but it made me even happier that I had decided to decorate the cake that way.
After that story we said our goodbyes because Rowan wanted to go down to Chrissie's grave and tie a balloon there for her birthday and leave her one of the roses he had brought Lorraine.
Here are some pictures of our time down at the gravesite:
It is always humbling and so very sweet watching Rowan visit his friends grave, but two extra miraculous things happened while we were down there today. First, as Rowan knelt down to say a prayer for Chrissie I noticed out of the corner of my eye that one horse, one of the six or seven that had been grazing way out in the field behind us, was walking straight up to Rowan. Rowan stood up and turned around and it was Navidad! Chrissie's very own horse, Navidad, who Rowan rode just one time a couple years ago, who Rowan wrote about in his poem to Chrissie, saying that he would take care of her horse Navidad for her. Yes, Navidad came right up to Rowan and put his nose in his hand. He didn't care about Cindy or I, just Rowan. Rowan was so excited. He said "Mom. it's like Chrissie sent Navidad to tell me Hi!"
We were just amazed, but God wasn't done yet... I turned around to take one or two more pictures as Rowan touched the stone at the foot of her grave and said goodbye....
We almost cried, we were so overjoyed. We got right back in the car and drove up the hill to tell Lorraine, that her Mom was visiting Chrissie's grave too! Rowan ran in to tell Lorraine and it just made the day even more important for us all...to have not one but two angels show themselves to us today...Chrissie in the form of her horse Navidad and Lorraine's Mom in the form of a beautiful yellow butterfly! Thank you God, for showing yourself in unexpected ways today! (Lorraine, I think I even wrote that in your card today, before I knew any of this would happen. That God would show you Chrissie in every nook and cranny in unexpected ways...and boy did He!)