My grandmother had the most amazing garden in her backyard - a beautiful reward for the hours she spent tending it. As a kid one of the best rewards for me was the butterflies that would flock to her oasis.
I would stand in the yard for hours, standing still like a statue with my hand out willing these butterflies to land on my hand for a close-up look. Often times they would. To this day it amazes my parents how an 8 year-old child could have such focus.
When my grandmother died and I flew back home for her funeral, I took a stroll through her backyard, not quite the oasis it was, but still lovingly cared for by my mom who had taken care of my sick grandmomther for years. No longer a child, but a grown woman stood in the same spots from 15 years before. As I walked through the garden, reminiscing on the memories, I thought about the butterflies. I stopped in my favorite spot where the tulips once grew. Thinking about how much I loved those tulips and how much I loved my grandmother, the most amazing thing happened.
A monarch butterfly landed on my hand. A gift from my grandmother to let me know that everything was, and would be, o.k. The kindest farewell to say she loved me too.
Today is the anniversary of my grandmother's death, and even though I haven't been grazed by a butterfly since, I know she is smiling down on me.