Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Going Home

I have a friend who has experienced a great loss in her life. Well, I suppose I have many friends who have experienced great losses. But this friend in particular, when remembering her loved one that is gone, often finds solace in butterflies.  When she sees one, she feels like it is her loved one, coming to just say hello, or remind her that he is watching over her, or that he loves or misses her. And I too, because of my great love for her, now find comfort in them as well. I have seen them at unusual moments and in times of sadness, and they remind me of the blessings in my life and that, though we may lose our earthly bodies, the spirit and the energy that makes up those we love never dies, but instead moves on to greater, more powerful things.  And the best part about the butterflies is that they always seem to show up for me when I least expect them.

Last night I put my boys to bed and then raced out to my garden, as I do every day, to quickly harvest and tend to it before I lose daylight. I gathered the daily metric ton of okra and came inside with my bowl, and set it on the kitchen counter. I had other things to do and so I went about my evening and didn't get back to the bowl of okra until I was shutting things down for the evening. As I picked up the bowl, I noticed something sitting on one of the pieces of okra.
It had been there, unnoticed, waiting patiently for over 3 hours. I extended my hand towards it and it hopped right on my finger, as if it had been waiting just for me. I carried it outside to release it, and it wouldn't leave my hand.
I tried setting it in the tree overhead, and it wouldn't climb on to the branch. I tried showing it the porch light - not interested.
I even tried putting it on the rim of that soda can in the background, thinking the sweetness left on the rim would be enticing enough to persuade it to leave me. No dice. No matter what I did, it hung on to my finger, walked around on my hand and sat content for a good 10 minutes. Even taking the pictures didn't spook it.
At one point I got pretty close to it, so I could look at it's face, and it startled and jumped back just a bit on my finger, then crawled around to the backside of my hand. And yet, it still wouldn't leave me.

My grandmother passed away this past Monday. We were not close, and I haven't seen her in many years. There have been and I am sure there will be many times in my life that those facts make me feel guilty, but obviously now there is not much I can do about it, so I am trying to come to terms with it and let it go. I am thankful she is finally at peace and out of the horrible pain she has been in for so many years. And, being a highly spiritual woman, I know she was ready to go home to Jesus. I find great comfort in that and am relieved that she is no longer suffering.

When I finally convinced the butterfly to sit in the tree, it did not go willingly. And I wonder now, if it was a message I didn't catch until today - if the butterfly was there for me, to bring a sign, a farewell, a moment of wonder and amusement. Could it have been the spirit of my grandmother, bringing a goodbye, or perhaps my friend's lost loved one, checking in on me in case I needed comfort. It could have just been a coincidence and a stubborn being that thought my hand was home. I am not sure what I believe, but I do think I can take something from the experience.  There is good and comfort in the simplest things, we just have to open our hearts (and hands) to receive it.

D :)

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