When I was little I used to play with ladybugs all the time. I would collect them in my little, yellow margarine containers with holes poked on top. My dad came up from a scuba dive to find me sitting on a rock covered with them when I was about 4.
Since then important occasions have always been marked by a visit from a single ladybug. And not just important moments, but times when I needed to know that there was something bigger than me. Bigger than all of us.
When I got married. I was sitting up at the head table, slightly freaking out because the caterer forgot to come to the reception. In turn, forgetting about how special the day was. Then I looked down and there she was, clinging to my skirt. A perfectly red, perfectly round ladybug. In December, with snow on the ground outside.I'm not sure who is sending these pretty ladies to me. But I know that she's bringing a little hope and love to me whenever I seem to need it most. They say when you pass on you smell lemons right before it happens. I have a feeling that when it's my turn to go (hopefully many, many years from now) I'll be seeing ladybugs.
When I had my first child. It had been a rough labor. Pre-eclampsia and 18 hours with an epidural that never took. But when my son finally made it out into the world my first thought was, "Oh good a grandson for Dad!". Later that same day my little ladybug came riding in on my dad's sleeve, we found her when he was holding his grandson for the first time.
When I had my second child. We found a tiny, red ladybug on daughter's swaddling blanket after carrying her into our home for the first time. I was just thinking that I was bummed she didn't have a ladybug like son did at the hospital, and moments later we found one.
On my birthday. Today I woke up with legs skewered in nerve pain. I just got through a very unfun round of Shingles recently and thought I was done with it all. Only to find out that it went and visited me on the other side of my body today. I also turned 38 today so somehow getting out of bed with little old lady pain seemed extra suckass. But when I hobbled into the bathroom, there she was. My little ladybug perched on the edge of the sink, vivid and red as ever.