The Grace of a Butterfly



Today I really have no time to write, so this will be a short post, unless I start rambling — then it could be a long post.

Just a few moments ago I found myself sitting outside, relishing my eight ounce can of Dr. Pepper — which I know is terrible for me.  But any mother will tell you, whenever you can find a solitary moment in your day; a moment of complete peace — no phones, no email, no Dumplings — you try to make it linger, knowing the more moments like this you have, the better you are at everything that comes after it.

So there I sat with my Dr. Pepper staring into the trees and talking out loud to Selma because so much is going on with Vital Options I can hardly work five straight minutes without asking her for help; for a sign; for some guidance.  I had just said, I know you can’t possibly agree with everything, but give me a sign you agree with something.  Suddenly, out of nowhere a beautiful orange butterfly appears.  I never see butterflies in my yard.

The minute I saw the butterfly, I knew she was listening.

The last card she ever gave me was covered in butterflies.  I’m not going to tell you we shared some sort of karmic butterfly connection while she walked this earth, we did not. To my recollection, we never had a significant conversation about butterflies. But we had many significant conversations and even a few significant arguments.  I cherish them all, even the arguments — and on some days, especially the arguments. It’s funny how much insight you can gain into a person by reliving arguments.

When someone you love passes on, someone who had a profound impact on your life — you are always searching for signs they are with you.  They are hopefully in a better place, but here you are trying to maneuver through the world without them.  Trying to fill in the blanks of their unfinished Mad Lib.

Are these signs wishful thinking?  Perhaps.  But I realized today — in that moment — as that butterfly fluttered around my orbit for almost five straight minutes … this butterfly meant something.

Selma was listening.

I like to think she sent a butterfly because I’m doing okay.  I loathe to think what she might send if I wasn’t.

Eight ounces of Dr. Pepper does not take very long to drink.  I finished listening to Emmylou Harris, Stumble Into GraceCup of Kindness. 

It was a beautiful end to my moment.  Full of grace.  Love. This. Song.

As I opened the door, there sat two eleven month old Dumplings.  Life does not get much better than that.


  1. Oh Terry, I so believe in strange messages, we just have to open up our hearts, because we don’t always see it with our eyes. There is a connection- butterflies are free and so is Selma, finally.

  2. I too believe in signs…they are special messages. Butterflies are such beautiful creatures and so was Selma..

  3. Anne bardsley says:

    I’ll share this. My next book is on signs. My mom and sis in law are both butterfly. I’ll send you a story when I get done all the blog tour stories I’m writing.
    Love that song too
    Selma is smiling and giving you a smooch this a.m.
    Anne xoxo

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