There were a few moments that especially stuck out. One was while waiting for my husband and brother in law to meet us. I was just sitting, starting to allow the sadness to sink in, tears staring to form and out of crowds of people comes a beautiful butterfly. It really appeared out of the thick of people, made its way over to me and danced around just long enough to bring a little smile to my face. Instantly I thought of Avery and felt like she had a hand in this butterfly making its way to me. The same thing happened again later in the day. As I was sitting, allowing the emptiness to creep in, a bubble floated right in front of me. A lone bubble, a child’s bubble. It wasn’t long until I was surrounded by them. And again, I smiled.
The most touching moment happened at the very end of the night. We’ve made it our goal to purchase something “Avery” whenever we go somewhere different. In Chicago we bought Avery key chains. I was a little disappointed that we hadn’t found anything and were about to leave the park, when I found a cute Avery necklace, complete with a little Mickey Mouse charm. I waited in one line for a little bit to pay but it was taking forever so I switched lines. My husband followed. The man in front of us was wearing sunglasses around his neck on a Miami Hurricanes holder. My husband, a huge fan, commented on this. The man thanked my husband for the compliment and went on to tell him how he is a former football player for this school. Immediately, my husband was excited to be talking to a former player. They chatted as I tried to get my husband to let the poor man complete his purchase and enjoy the rest of his night with his wife. Before he completed his purchase, he asked what we were buying. I simply replied, “A necklace for my daughter.” He then turned to the cashier and told him he wanted to buy the necklace for us. Tears instantly started forming in both my eyes as well as my husbands. My husband replied that he was spending the best $10 of his life and proceeded to tell him why the necklace meant so much to us. With tears in his eyes, the man said he was happy to do it and that he loved us. He and his wife touched us with such a simple act of kindness-strangers helping us with our grief journey. It wasn’t that the necklace was expensive; it was that someone just wanted to do something nice for someone else.
It may be something little, but this encounter made the day completely worth it. I am thankful that there are still genuinely nice people in the world; people who will do for others and expect nothing in return. We didn’t give them anything for their act but I know Avery touched their lives and they too will always remember this encounter.