A mother’s love on butterfly wings

Butterflies are beautiful, little creatures with big benefits for agriculture. However, they are so much more than pollinators to one woman in Oxford, Mississippi.

There are few things more beautiful in nature than the butterfly.

“They don’t expect to open up this little piece of paper and the butterfly come out and crawl on you and fly around,” Brandall Laughlin states.

That is one of the reasons why the Oxford Garden Club hosted a butterfly release at their community garden.

“We’re going to be really cognizant of which plants go into this so that it really is an educational flower bed, as well as beautiful to look at,” Laughlin states.

While we love them for their collective contribution to agriculture and kaleidoscope of colors, Laughlin loves them for what they represent.

She explains, “I have four children and my youngest I lost about five years ago and on his birthday I release butterflies.”

She lost her son, Walker, in a car accident when he was just a teenager. One day, in those first weeks after Walker’s death, she asked God for a sign that Walker was in a better place and that she would survive this indescribable pain and grief. That is when a butterfly landed on her and literally stayed on her for hours.

“I lost him when he was fourteen in a car accident and butterflies were kind of something that connected us in life and it has been a very poignant reminder that follows me frequently,” she adds. “He shows up and I think that he would be truly, absolutely delighted that we’ll be sending this off into the heavens.”

As a small child Walker not only loved nature and being outdoors, he loved farming and tractors. They did not have a farm but did live out in the country. So, Walker often went down to their neighbor’s. A farmer named James Durham. He taught Walker to drive a tractor.

This young man was drawn to agriculture like a butterfly to a flower.

While his mom could not get him to do his reading assignments from school, she would often find him reading John Deere tractor manuals like John Grisham novels. She says that she cannot explain her son’s deep affection for all things ag, nor can she explain why God would take this future farmer from the face of the Earth so soon.

But, she is confident God knew what he was doing and she will understand when she sits with God’s son and her own, in their heavenly garden.

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