And Thursday, a garden in the shape of a butterfly was dedicated at Lena Winslow Elementary School.
Tears fell from the sky, tears to water a garden in bloom as the final stone was placed into the walkway honoring a man who left our world too soon and a butterfly garden came to life.
"Between here and the cemetery, I spend a lot of time with Neil. Hopefully I'll be more here than over there-- I felt a close connection with him while doing this...he said, 'Dad, go that way, put this there." I said, Okay, Neil," says Petsche.
Several years ago, former Lena Winslow principal Karen Sirgany and other school leaders wanted to design a project to enhance the school. A butterfly garden was discussed, David Petsche, a landscaper wanted to be a part of the creation.
"When he does something, he does it with a lot of care, a lot of precision and accuracy...and he took the ball and ran with it," says Sirgany.
And Neil was by his father's side as the initial construction began. "He spent numerable hours in here helping to put in the plants, lay the stone, put in dirt, lay down the brick so this is him--he's a big part of it," say Sirgany.
"It's kind of bittersweet--I enjoyed the time here, but now that it's done, it's like a disconnect or closing, but like a butterfly, it's a renewal--a step forward," say Petsche.
A butterfly is a powerful symbol of rebirth and how beautiful and fragile life is. Neil’s spirit can roam freely in the garden touching the lives of a community and a place where David can always see his son.
The different varieties of plants and flowers in the garden will attract different types of butterflies...
Engrained in the pavement are musical notes. Neil played the snare drum for 7 years.