Friday, June 1, 2012

His Wings of Presence

Butterflies. Butterflies everywhere. 

Maybe it's not just me. Maybe everyone has butterflies around them all the time. 

My brother loved butterflies. They would surround him when we played outside together. I remember the images so vividly. They would land on his hands and his head and just sit as if that was where they were meant to be. It is such a peaceful image.  

Up until that time in my life, I had not witnessed that nor had it ever happened to me. 

Fast forward many years later. 

I am a mother of 2 and one summer as I contemplate writing a book in his honor a butterfly comes out of nowhere and just hangs around me. 

In the beginning, I thought I was just being weird and making something of nothing, but as time passed and butterflies continued to show up during specific times in my life, most notably, during some of the most difficult times or decisions, I began to really believe that there was a higher power around me. 

You can say I'm crazy. I'm ok with that. It took 35 years, but I'm absolutely sure to my core that butterflies have great meaning in my life. They symbolize my brother, his love for animals, the firm truth that we all  can transform to something better, and that peace can be found in all circumstances if we will just stop. 

This week I decided to see how crazy I was. Someone was sitting in my office and asked me about the @wingsgratitude twitter account. I gave a quick version of why it exists and then asked her my crazy questions: 

Me: When you're driving around in your car, do you often see butterflies surrounding it? 
Her: No. They usually just hit my windshield and die. 
Me: So, you don't get out of your car and see butterflies, typically? 
Her: No. 
Me: What about in the winter? 
Her: No

Immediately after that conversation, I got a text message from my husband with this picture attached. His message was this: "This has never happened to me before. I found this butterfly in my truck and opened the door to let it out and it landed here." 
A few months ago I went back to the lake house where John and I  shared our last weekend together as brother and sister. 

As I led my 3 children down to the water front, I was amazed to see 50 or so sunflowers in the very place he and I would play while taking a break from jet skiing and the inter tube. 

My 2 year old ran up to flowers and in an instant about 50 butterflies scattered all over. It's hard to see in this picture, but I tried to capture the moment. 

I have so many similar stories since I really began being conscious of these beautiful, peaceful creatures. . It's hard to go on without noticing the significance of their presence. 

I've talked to people who have comparable connections with people they've lost. 

This is a far fetched idea to many, but I will not deny his presence. HIS presence. 

So where did "On the Wings of Gratitude" come from, you ask? 

This is where: my brother and the butterflies. :) 

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