This story of butterflies began At the age of 7. As I sat on my grandmothers front porch on Hatch Blvd, she told all
4 of her grandchildren how much she loved us and when we saw a butterfly, we should think of her. At that time she had only a few months to live. I can still remember the tears that streamed down my Mother's face as she listened to her own dying Mother tell My brother, my two cousins and me this precious suggestion. This is the moment my Mom was given one of the greatest gifts she ever received although it was years later until she realized it. If you knew my Mom, most likely you know that she loved butterflies, and if by chance you didn't know why, now you will. The preacher at her mothers funeral said.... (Mom always quoted it correctly, I most likely will botch it but you will get the idea here) if I could paint a picture of the life of Sara jumper it would be that of a cocoon that opened and became a beautiful butterfly. And he said something really fabulous there that I cannot quote so I won't try. So after the funeral she asks the preacher... Did my mom share with you her wishes for her grandchildren about butterflies? He said no. Then, We all traveled to her small hometown of Sulligent to Bury her. As all
Good southerners apparently do, we ventured back to the gravesite once all
Was done to just make our final
Goodbyes and I assume to see all the flowers on top of the dirt. Mother saw the most beautiful monarch butterfly flying all over the flowers. It fluttered and flitted around and never left the site. She said immediately a peace came over her and she knew her mother was with God and no longer suffering. She left the cemetery that day with the beginning of the story.
So fast forward a year later, I can still remember the look on my moms face when she received the call. Her brother whom had been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia had been missing a couple months. The call revealed A body has been found in Florida. They believed it to be Him. So along with her father she had to make the dreaded drive to identify his body. As they walked to the cAr, the most beautiful butterfly flew beside the two of them. Mom said she looked at My papa Joe and said, God is coming with us. Unfortunately, it was his body. And after the very dreaded time at the morgue they left Knowing my uncle had two young children ages 7 and 9 with a whole life ahead of him, wondering had he suffered, did he know he was going to die? Was he scared? They felt crushed, but just as they rounded the corner, Two beautiful brown butterflies flew past them. Mom said she knew. Millard was with God and his mother in heaven. Due to his mental illness, he had lived in hell on this earth for periods of time and now he indeed was in heaven in peace with God and his own Mother. Her own Peace came over her, and once again she had the strength to get through the loss of her dear sweet brother, whom had introduced her to the church she now loved and Cursillo which was life changing for her. Throughout her life, God continued to put butterflies in her path just when she needed them most. She saw them as a sign of the peace and strength we can get from God alone. Mom use to always say to People .... May your friends and family give you comfort, and may you let God give you the peace and strength needed to face whatever it was they were facing.
Fast forward years... The day a doctor said the word cancer to her, it terrified her. I was pregnant with Maddox my second child. My brother was also expecting Kenly. This life loving, forever smiling, amazing mother, wife, grandmother, and friend wanted to live so bad. It couldn't be happening to her. Scared,sad and heartbroken, she received flowers from my brother in law and sister in law on that very day and guess what appeared? On the flowers attached was a big butterfly. She immediately asked me if I had told them about her love of butterflies. I asked them if they knew, if I had mentioned it. Her reply was no! She said we just ordered flowers and this must have been something they added to it. Another example of God reminding her of the peace and strength he was going to give her to fight this battle. My mom served on many cursillo staffs and she was asked at each weekend to give the talk on apolostic action which simply means....make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ. Her butterfly story became widely known. I was at a cursillo event just a few years ago and a lady came up
To me whom had gone through over 25 years earlier. She said I still remember your moms butterfly story and everytime I see one I think of her, Gods presence, and that talk. My mom
Battled cancer like a hero with the peace and strength God continued to give her not only through the beautiful flying creatures but through her faith in Him. She did live to see both her grandchildren born and died shortly after their second birthdays. We chose to have a celebration of life for her service. Her friend and talented florist Carl Cassidy had an amazing idea. When we walked into the church, the entire ceiling was filled with butterflies. Actually helium balloons. Immediately you think, what?? In a church? Well it was beautiful and Anyone who knows Carl knows whatever he does is just breathtaking. From that day on, I have seen my own butterflies exactly when I need them. I was so blessed to have such a lifetime example of Gods presence in my life. I grew up knowing that there really aren't coincidences. These butterflies showed and continue to show me how close God is to
Us all. They are proof that miracles happen everyday. I was inspired to write this yesterday. I was having one of what I
Like to call my "single mom do it all on my own overwhelming moments." There are days it just hits me. Days where it seems a little harder to juggle two busy kids, a home, every bill, a business, and a second job as a fitness instructor. I'm not complaining. I have a great life and I am blessed beyond more than i can say, but we all have those days. So. I put on my big girl panties and headed to work to do the day and planned to do it well because that's what I do!!! The minute I walked out the door a yellow butterfly flew by me. And it hit. I hear you momma. I hear you God. I've got this. As I drove to work. I began to sob as literally every ten feet a yellow butterfly flew across my path. The whole entire drive. One after another. Every little stretch one appeared. I felt the most amazing peace and love. It sounds crazy but by the end of my drive I
Was laughing and crying all
At the same time.
Just when I get a little down, a little discouraged God always finds a way to pick me up. A way to remind me to just stay the course by seeking him. When I pulled up and got out of the car walking in, the most beautiful monarch butterfly flew with me. So needles to say, I'm thinking that either something really good or really bad must be about to happen. But when I sat down. I thought I better Read my Jesus calling maybe it will add even more to these miracles. No coincidence, The reading was centered around my favorite bible verse. The last thing my mother ever wrote me in a card I still have. Isaiah 40:31 even youths grow tired and weary, but those who hope in the lord wilL renew their strength, and mount on the wings of Eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. So when you get tired, when you suffer a loss, when life knocks you plumb out, look for butterflies and may they remind you to hope in him. He will Renew your strength and he will
Give you peace!!