Before I type another word, I want to welcome Marie back to the blogosphere. Journey Beyond Breast Cancer has been on a bit of a hiatus. Marie was in the hospital. She's easing her way back. She's tossed a challenge out and I'm loving it. Marie's vision is for us to photograph and document one thing each day that we may take for granted...... things we should be celebrating. It is much better if you read it here directly from Marie.
My Day One photograph is of the butterflies that are living in a bush outside my kitchen window.
I have a "thing" for butterflies. It started when my grandmother died. It was March of 2006. The wake lasted two days. The first night was my wedding anniversary. My husband gave me a gift and the jeweler wrapped the box using beautiful ribbon. There was a gold and purple butterfly adorning the box. I removed the ribbon with great care and I placed the butterfly into a small bag that I was bringing to the funeral parlor.
When we arrived, I recall handing the bag to my mom. It contained framed photographs. And the butterfly. I left the bag and walked to the front of the room to see my nana. The priest said it best at the beginning of her funeral mass. "Ninety-four years is still not enough." I remember my breath catching in the back of my throat as I approached her. I was not prepared for her to leave us. I don't know how long I stood there before my mom was beside me with the butterfly in her hand and a bit of a confused expression on her face.
I gently placed the butterfly next to my grandmother. One month later, in April, my routine mammography was not "routine" and my feet were straddling the line. You know. THAT line. In April, I had no hint of what was to come. It would be three months before I heard the word "cancer."
And there were butterflies all around me. Yellow swallowtails.... mostly...... and they were strangely comforting. It reminded me of my nana. She was strong and "colorful" with her language. She thumbed her nose at that which she deemed unimportant. She marched to her own drum. She was true first to HERSELF.
Each time I saw a butterfly, my thoughts went immediately to my nana. The butterflies gave me strength. I was not alone. I had the lessons I had learned from watching her over the years. Staring down adversity, rising above any challenge that was thrown her way. I was carried through the worst moments during such difficult days by the butterflies all around me. Everyone in my life knows that butterflies carry with them a very special significance.
The other day, my daughter was sitting at the kitchen table. She called to me to ask me what type of shrub was outside the window. I didn't know. She told me she never saw three butterflies on one bush. I was at the window in a flash. And then, I was outside. There were at least six or seven butterflies on the shrub. And there were a bunch of very small butterflies, too. I stood there in awe.
The butterflies have been fluttering around that bush every day for the past week. These two decided to just hang together on the flower that was closest to me. There's been lots of "STUFF" going on in recent weeks. I know I can and will rise above and deal with whatever is tossed my way. I carry the resilience of my nana in my heart. And I carry all of the memories of my dad, her son and hope I can live my life on the same path that he lived. Always on the high road. And those butterflies remind me,
"You Got This..... Yeah.... You Definitely Got This...."