In Time of a Deepest Need: a Dragonfly
My name is Dianne Sparks and I first discovered The Dragonfly Project in 2006 while trying to find speakers for our St. Anthony Kiwanis weekly meetings. I found information about The Dragonfly Project in the Nativity Lutheran Church bulletin. The Project intrigued me so much I asked founder Anne Brooker to speak at one of our meetings. She and her father came.
I, along with everyone in our group, was truly touched by how this project started and the love this child had for Hans Bonde, who had passed years ago. I then asked Anne to speak to our Kiwanis Key Club high school group. My hope was this group of teens would be touched enough by Anne’s story to volunteer to help assemble the Dragonfly card packets. They were, and they did!
Little did I know how important the story and this group would be to my family one year later. We lost my father-in-law very suddenly in September of 2007. It was a great loss to us all but especially to my daughter who had been very close to him. My daughter was the first grandchild and was “spoiled” by all the love grandparents give to the firstborn. While setting up for her wedding at our family lake home in Nisswa we found a dragonfly that seemed to decide it needed to be a part of what we were doing. We would find ourselves saying: Ok, Dad or Grandpa, we see you and it appears you don’t agree with how we are doing things. When it was time for the reception my mother-in-law went to her preassigned seat and there on her chairback sat the dragonfly! It was as though he was there with her, marrying off their first grandchild and letting her know he was sharing it with her. It was a profound moment for us.
My second story involves one of our best couple friends. Kevin was diagnosed with myeloma and we watched as his life slowly was taken from him. I can tell you that I do not know of any of our friends who had a love that was as strong as this couple. They were so devoted to each other and enjoyed each other in every way possible. When Kevin passed away I thought his wife (my girlfriend) would never recover. As we got into the second and third year of his passing it seemed she was still so distraught that most of us just did not know what to say to try to help her. It seemed like she was getting through everyday processes but was not “living” life. I happened to stumble on a packet of dragonfly cards in my drawer one day and decided to send her one.
I got a call from her about a week later and she wanted to know if she could come to Minnesota to visit us for a few days (she lives in Wisconsin). When she got here she looked at me and my husband and told us she felt this card had made her feel she could live again and she now knew that Kevin was all around her. She said two days after she got the card she was down on the waterfront of her home and was preparing to go for a kayak ride. All of a sudden a dragonfly landed on her shirt. She immediately felt Kevin was by her side and watching over her. The dragonfly stayed on her shirt during her ride and flew away as she landed the kayak back at her home. She felt it was his way of saying to her that he was always there, but he was giving her permission to go on living life.
I so appreciate The Dragonfly Project and am forever thankful that this young lady decided that the dragonfly story was worth giving to a set of parents who had to say goodbye to their young son way too early. I know I am not alone when I say I hope everyone has a dragonfly come to them in their deepest time of need.
written by and photos provided by Dianne Sparks