Dragonfly love story brought readers hope
COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, February 19, 2003
"Breathtaking" is the only word I can find to describe your
response to last week's column about Olivia and Danny Scott and the dragonfly.
As you may recall, Olivia and Danny had been married for only two months
when a recurrence of childhood leukemia, in remission for 15 years, claimed
Danny's life in 1999. During their short time together, Olivia and Danny
shared a deep appreciation for dragonflies. While preparing for the memorial
service following his death, Olivia and Danny's parents, Dale and Candy
Scott, encountered an iridescent dragonfly on a rock. It first stroked
Dale's finger, then flew to Olivia's left shoulder, cocked its head as
if to identify itself as Danny, and departed in the assurance that all
was at peace.
Many of you both men and women of all ages, some with tears running
down your cheeks shared personally with Olivia and me how the story
gave you comfort and hope.
Here are excerpts from two e-mailed responses. The first is from Grace
Vanden Berg whose brother-in-law has a surprising connection with Olivia's
DEAR WARREN, while going through my weekly Cochrane Eagle, the words
"A dragonfly tale of love" caught my eye. I had recently heard
a similar tale of a parents' love for their son who loved dragonflies,
a son taken from them too soon.
During one of my visits with my brother-in-law, Didsbury artist Lody
Vanden Berg, he told me a lady had commissioned him to do a piece as
a memorial to a lost son. The memorial was to depict the special enchanted
place loved by a son who loved dragonflies. I heard the story about
the dragonfly that had come to offer comfort to the family.
Now, dragonflies do not usually land on people, do they? The story
brought tears to my eyes; it was so sad and yet also so beautiful. Somehow
we never think that a simple little dragonfly can be the purveyor of
such hope. God works in mysterious ways, indeed. The piece, commissioned
by a grieving family from a man who is an artist by the grace of God,
and how they were brought together, just adds another surreal dimension
to this story.
Grace Vanden Berg, Cochrane
THE SECOND LETTER is also from Cochrane. Lindsie Haxton writes about
the dragonfly as a symbol of life after death:
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, my minister, Rev. Don Neufeld, recounted a story
As I remember it, some dragonfly larvae were sitting in the mud on
the bottom of a lily pond, discussing the possibilities of a world beyond
their own. They were limited to conjecture, as no larva that had left
the familiar pond bottom to climb up to the water's surface had ever
returned with information about the world above.
One practical-minded dragonfly made a vow to the other larvae: "When
I leave this place and reach the surface of the pond, I will return
and tell you everything that I have seen up there."
When the time came for him to leave the muddy pond bottom, he scaled
the stem of a lily pad, then rested on its broad, flat leaves. As he
lay there, he shed his larva skin and took on the form of a beautiful,
blue winged dragonfly. Spreading his new wings, he soared skyward. This
vast, bright, beautiful world was more than he or his larva kin could
ever have imagined!
Regrettably, he was unable to fulfill his promise to the mud-bound
larvae. His new form was created to soar, and he could not return underwater.
He wondered, "Even if it was possible for me to return, would they
comprehend this world that I am now a part of?"
Like Olivia, I had some serendipitous dragonfly experiences following
the death of my father three years ago. My memorable meetings with the
ethereal dragonfly comforted me and reminded me that my father didn't
die. He left this place to soar in another.
Lindsie Haxton, Cochrane
THANK YOU, all of you, for your kind words.
© 2003 Warren Harbeck
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