Last Saturday, I was overwhelmed after receiving thoughtful and cherished gifts in memory of my butterfly Justin. I got a beautiful picture of Justin that his friend Anna took of him when he was in the 7th grade; and she was in the 8th. The innocent and angelic look on his face just set me back, it was beautiful. I will post later. Justin’s Art Teacher, Ms. Hall, also brought us two beautiful pieces of commissioned art related to Justin.
I also spoke to Justin’s MS Choral teacher Ms. Burtchaell and we talked about when I wrote her when Justin was in the 6th grade about to attend H-W. The entering 7th graders had to pick between a choral or musical instrument for class. Justin chose his voice as his instrument and wanted to make sure that there were other boys taking choral, he did not want to be the only one. Ms. Burtchaell told me “ Justin can take anything that he wanted and that at H-W we allow our students to choose their craft and “to be and do what they want.” Justin , my angel baby loved to sing wanted to make sure that other boys where going to sing so he would not be alone. Before I went to sleep that night, I got a message from a young lady named Lora who attended the Student Diversity and Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Washington, DC this year. I had never met her before. When she told me that she lived on a street with the meaning of “butterfly”, I could hardly breathe. She had no ideal about the significance of what “Butterfly” means to us!!!
I was so touched by the following message delivered by Lora last week:
“Everything happens for a reason. That’s what everyone always says. But sometimes, it is so hard to understand why. Why has a boy, so young, so talented, with so much to offer to this world been prematurely taken from it? The world needs more people like Justin. People who care. But the steps you have taken in his name, to carry on his dream are laudable. I have a picture, very similar to the one you just sent me with Dr. Harris. Justin and I probably stood in that exact same line together, waiting to get a photograph. This year, before I had even heard you speak, I hung back to be able to get the last photograph and conversation with our keynote speaker. Justin was a wonderful human being. He was a role model. Always leading by example and a beautiful example too.
Full of compassion, kindness, respect, and most of all, love. I am honored that you chose to share all these memories with me. Although I did not know Justin personally, at SDLC, we are all family. Justin was part of my SDLC family, and thus a part of me. I know I am just a student but if you would ever like to share more memories, I would love to hear them. I’m here to listen and support you in any way you can. I have so much respect for all that you are doing in your beloved Justin’s name.”
That night I could hardly sleep, but fortunately, I was able to have my first dream about my baby and it was as real as it could be. I was able to pick Justin out of my dream and hug his sweet face.
Lora came by today and we met and talked a bit. Later she told me that she searched the Internet and realized that Justin’s Celebration was held at the church she grew up in. She was also a member of the choir. Then she saw the video that was produced a few days after Justin’s service by a Videographer
Chad Michael whom we did not know at all.
This evening Lora confirmed the following in a message to me:
I am sure you have seen this, and watching it again probably is tough hard right now, but I just want you to know that I believe the Peace on Earth song that is played occasionally throughout the video is sung by me and my choir”
So the following facts still stand:
- Lora met Justin briefly at the SDLC conference in 2012
- Lora heard us speak at the SDLC conference in Justin’s honor in 2013 and felt compelled to reach out to me last week
- Lora grew up on a street that means “Butterfly”
- I met Lora for the first time today
- Last year Justin was the last one to take a picture with the keynote speaker at the conference
- This year Lora was the last one to take a picture with the keynote speaker
- Today she realized her personal connection to her church where she grew up in and sang in the choir; it was the same church we held Justin’s service because of it’s size and beauty
- She also realized that her voice is in the background of the video that was made a few days after Justin’s service by someone we did not know, in honor of Justin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzQ7klQFBKo
- Lora auditioned for Annie and sang “Tomorrow” a few years ago
- Justin sang “Tomorrow” for an audition when he was 13 years old http://youtu.be/mBkDrCr5wIQ
- Justin was an “Earth angel” according the Chef Lisa Dahl who we met in Sedona. Chef said that our Justin was just like her only son “Justin” who died while being a Good Samaritan. Chef Lisa was my “Tess” from the old series “Touched by an Angel”
- Lora’s visit soothed my soul today with her infinite wisdom, kind words about my Justin, depth of love and quest for fair treatment and inclusion of everyone.
- She told me “Although she is just a student, she would walk by my side if I ever need support.” Today, my newest “Guardian Angel” Lora touched me and left me speechless….
- This blue butterfly did fly on Darrell when we were in Phoenix
No more words, and I can’t make this up.
Crazy, Synchronistic, I don’t know what to say. But I will take it so I can sleep peacefully tonight. I will continue to listen to the sweet music of my baby’s name and songs he left for us to hear as often as we can.
Thank you Lora!!!!!
Love, you Justin!!!!!
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