Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A few days before Bob passed on a blue butterfly came and sat on my left shoulder, I was shocked, this had never happened to me before. It sat there for quite awhile then flew  around my head close to my face.
I got frightened, I thought that Bob had passed on , came into the house to phone and check, no everything was still the same. I forgot about it.
Next day , go to the garbage bin, blue butterfly appears and flies around my head. Say what?
This is beginning to be strange.
Daughter comes to trim the hedge and I start to clean up a garden corner, blue butterfly is surrounding me with circling my head about 6 or so inches from my head, Rhonda is my witness and she is beginning to laugh, she tells me that this is beginning to be boring as the butterfly is not leaving. Many minutes and I become dizzy from the flutters around my head. I laugh and cry.
Then I remember that there is a card with a large blue butterfly next to his bed.
We all joke about it.
Bob passes on and sure enough I have more visits from the blue butterfly.
So it gets cold at night and frosty. I figure we will not see a blue butterfly for awhile.
We go to Pisgah Forest to bring his ashes to the river , Frank picks a fabulous spot.
Frank fishes here almost every day (in that Forest) I think he knows every good spot.
He picked this one out of 5, he tells me.
Stepping out of his giant truck I look down a steep drop of several feet till I notice the running creek.
No problems. 3 hefty guys hold my arms and show me where to step, I almost feel like I have wings going down. So I am talking to old Bob and I am saying in my bossy tone (even in my head I can be bossy)
"OK Bob you better send me a butterfly, I know there was frost but , I need a butterfly to know you are here."

We bring, one by one, the ashes and deliver them to the clear waters of the creek which eventually will flow into the large French Broad River, Rhonda brings what Bob liked the most: vanilla ice cream, white chocolate morsels. It all blends into a white cloud ripples down a small waterfall into the next pond and on to more waterfalls between giant rocks. Sabrina has flowers, they follow the parade.

Frank surprises us and has his childhood Bible and reads from Isiah.
I am in a total fog, this is not real the whole scene is not real.
It is gorgeous here, wild flowers are everywhere especially purple asters,
the sun peaks with a bright smile in between the still yellow leaves on the trees,
you can't hear traffic, you can't hear anything but the rushing of the water.
Zack made a Mad Hatter hat and I love it, I wear it as I just said we are here to
celebrate a man's life. He is leaving us but look what he gave us in beauty.
Zack grandchildren will talk about the paintings they inherit, So will Jim's (he drove from Chapel Hill )
we will all look at his work and remember the gentle talented painter.
Mitch remembered a joke when he approached Bob and said: Sorry I missed your birthday party yesterday and Bob quickly answered : Don't worry about it you were not invited"
Mitch cracked up, that was Bob. He had an answer for everything but mostly he had that kind face and laughter. In the nursing home they told us that the smile did it all, he smiled at every body.
So the Mad hatter hat in place on my head I search to steal a plant in the National Forest (against the law) I have it roots and all, no idea what kind it is but it will grow for me.
Frank gets a rock for me. Frank loved dad a lot.
The girls are doing fine, Rhonda has a crying spell but I am calm, she will be fine.
Sabrina takes photos and we decide it is time to leave Grandpa once and for all so we start the
climb back to the truck and I stop in shock and awe a tattered blue butterfly is coming my way, the small group knows my story and freezes in their tracks . Frank rushes to take a photo as it sits on a fern,
later it goes to an aster we are all laughing now with nervous energy.....what does it all mean....
I know in my heart that old Bob heard the orders from his mate and managed to find one
butterfly at the very end of his/hers energy, wings in dire straights yet it did find our party.
Thank you, Bob. Thank you.

When I find out how to bring the photo from Sabrina's site to here I will post it.
If you see a blue butterfly send it my way.......


Sis said...

Oh, Jeannot! This is a beautiful story! It brought tears to my eyes as I was reminded of an experience I had after my mother's death. Mom was in the Pillsbury Bake Off Contest in 1952. She won a trip to New York to participate in that year's Bake Off. Her recipe was in their yearly cook book. She had given the cook book to me, and after much use, baking cookies, cakes, etc for my 4 kids, it got pretty tattered. So, I found a duplicate on Ebay and bought it. I turned to the page her recipe was on, and there dried flowers on that page! I felt like my mother was standing right beside me, and this was her way of letting me know she was okay. I felt such peace. After I read your story, I wanted to share my story with you. I am so happy for you and the blue butterfly. I hope they return often I think you are a beautiful person, and I think you have a beautiful family too.

Your farmville friend
Marguerite Purnell

Bohemiangypsy said...

I thought the day was going to be beyond what I could give. Sabrina scolded us, "No crying" days before. I held Dad's hand and I would be holding his ashes - too close to home. Reality isn't always my favorite gig. I had to find a mediator ... I found red ruby slippers, size one. Daddy's favorite movie was "The Wizard of Oz". The ruby slippers with three clicks, "There's no place like Home." Frank said I couldn't trash the forest by leaving them by the stream - he would bury them for me. We weren't burying dad and I wasn't burying the slippers. A compromise - I brought vanilla ice cream and white chocolate morsels. The blend in the swift stream was something out of a Monet painting. Flowers floating in a cloud of white haze. We all threw the morsels like we were throwing rice at a wedding. The effect was just as rich as my ruby slippers. Unknowlingly it was Zack's decorated top hat that saved me, that and the butterfly. The hat reminded me of New Orleans and how death is celebrated. I was waiting for soulful music and jazz.

While all of us were lingering, each of us in our own moments after spreading the ashes, Mom was talking to Mitch and telling him about the butterflies. I was glad she was sharing because I knew the butterfly would again come. Then, removing any doubt and bringing a renewed reality our butterfly flew in reassuring us he's still very much here.