My 9 year old daughter discovered the book, “When the Butterflies Came” by Kimberly Griffiths Little about a month ago. She likes to read, but I wouldn’t say she’s an avid reader like my two oldest sons were. There was something in that 327 page book though, that she couldn’t put down.
As soon as she finished, she insisted I start reading it right away. It took me a week to begin, but only a few chapters in I was hooked. Suddenly, images of my life in Oklahoma City came flooding back.
I never had any bond or any internal connection with my mother. When I was young I thought it was because of me. After I had my first son at the age of 21, I realized that wasn’t true. I felt a love for him like I had never known. I have always been the free spirit who was never allowed to fly, but with him that all changed. I taught him, and my sons that followed, a passion for life. I encouraged them to be in touch with their spirits.
My sons taught me what real maternal love should feel like. I loved them passionately and I loved life passionately, but there was always something missing. After separating from my first husband because work was his priority, not his family, certainly not his wife, we all moved to Oklahoma City when he was transferred, to keep their father in their life.
I am a highly intuitive, highly spiritual person. We were living in a Minneapolis suburb at the time. I was working as a critical care nurse. We were near biological family, but I couldn’t have felt more alone. I had health issues that were only exasperated by the weather. My heart and my ego told me to move back to Columbia, MO, my children’s birthplace, but my spirit POWERFULLY urged me to move to Oklahoma City.
It was an immensely difficult thing to do. I was still sad and alone, only now I was in a strange land. A year in I met a man, Joey, an Italian from Pittsburgh, enormously caring and passionate. He worked as a physician’s assistant with the liver transplant team. In time he would become my nurturer, my healer.
At the age of 35, he was able to fill the needs that my mother never could. He was aware of the significance of that relationship and of my inner child. I had a love of butterflies and several rooms in my house were decorated with them. He bought me many gifts with butterflies. My favorite was a lawn statue of a young girl running with a net.
Time passed and life moved on. Upon finding my second husband and moving back to Columbia, MO at the age of 40, when I became pregnant I knew it was with a daughter. I knew God was giving me the one thing I needed to feel complete. On a warm spring day when the butterflies were out, a beautiful little girl was born, my “helper and defender of mankind.”
When she got a little older, I gave Joey back the statue of the little girl to put in his backyard sanctuary where he had allowed that little girl in me to heal. The thought of her left the recesses of my mind….until now. Until my beautiful little angel prepares to turn 10 and discovers a story about butterflies, and they suddenly become very special to her.
I anticipate the beauty of the upcoming spring and the desire to plant flowers all around us, as we invite all the butterflies into our world. I confirm the circle of life. I confirm the process of healing. I confirm the power of love. The change we desire starts from within. The revolution begins with me.