My Sister’s Butterfly
Since she was a little girl, my younger sister, Rebecca, loved Monarch Butterflies. Rebecca died two years ago. She was just 61. It was a heartbreaking end to my sister’s life. Addiction kills. It almost killed me; it killed my sister.
Every time I see a Monarch Butterfly, I think of my sister and find myself hoping that maybe, just maybe, her spirit is alive and well in the Monarch I am watching. And so, I say her name aloud, “Rebecca!” I know this may sound silly. I couldn’t care less if it does. Those of us who are seniors know all about loss and loved one’s dying. It’s life on life’s terms.
And so, yesterday afternoon, life on life’s terms gave me a generous gift from my sister. Yesterday afternoon, I was walking across a large, nearly empty parking lot when roughly 10 yards off to my left, I saw a Monarch Butterfly dancing in the air. (They don’t fly, they dance.)
“Rebecca!” I called out. And then it happened. The butterfly flew over to me. I stood still, again saying, “Rebecca.” I extended my hand palm up, the butterfly stayed just beyond my reach, circling me and staying just outside of arm’s length. I walked a few yards. The butterfly, still dancing the air around me, stayed with me. After a few minutes of this – or so the time passing seemed to me – the butterfly danced away.
I love my sister, Rebecca, my whole wide world, and I miss her, my whole wide world.
Peter and Rebecca. 1959