In Honor of Ray


They say when your daughter marries, you gain a son … I did.

Through all my physical ills or emotional melt downs … Ray would tell me, “Every thing is going to be OK Mom.” He meant that with all his heart and he did everything he could to make it so.

His death rocked our family … he was just so loving and giving. He was always trying to find special ways to make life better for us or to show us a good time. His way was to – “Go Big or Go Home.” I just wish he were home now with my daughter and grandson … with all of us.

I stayed with my daughter Laura and Grandson Jared for the summer, until Jared went back to school, trying to help them as best I could. But every once in a while, my own grief would over come me and I would go outside to try and gather myself, not wanting to upset Laura or Jared anymore than they were already suffering. There are vineyards behind their house and it is so lovely and peaceful — and without fail, a beautiful monarch butterfly would appear – flutter around for a minute or two and then fly off over the vineyard. My tears would stop, a smile would come and peace would settle over my heart. This happened all summer – anywhere I was, and the tears would start – there would be a monarch butterfly.

I was in Lowes one afternoon looking at some of the things Ray and I had talked about getting for my new little house. I started to cry. I hurried out the garden center door and leaned against the fence … there fluttering around in front of me on the plants, was a handsome monarch butterfly.

Of course, winter came on and there were no more butterflies. So, I hung the picture of the monarch butterfly who visited me at Lowe’s in several rooms in my house – it brought me comfort and reminded me of Ray’s joy for life and his love for all of us. Today … I had that butterfly tattooed on my arm.

Now I have a daily reminder of my amazing ‘son’ … Ray Schneider.


Copyright © 2016 Brenda L. Surin. All Rights Reserved.

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