The Butterfly Effect… In Real Life.

So, I have this thing with butterflies…

It’s not like an obsession, and it’s not like they’re my favorite animal, but there is something special about them. In fact, it’s special enough for me to have wanted to get a butterfly tattooed on my body to signify it’s importance with my life. It all started with “my person”.

You’d think that Dylan was my person, and while he is my other half, the love of my life, and my soulmate- my person, he is not. That is Grandma Colleen. She’s my great-great aunt, but Grandma was easier, she took care of me since I was about six weeks old, and she was my first best friend. She spent every single day with me growing up, teaching me how to wash your hair in the sink, play Yahtzee, and appreciate the genius that is Judge Judy. Every day after I got off the school bus, there was a candy bar and can of Coke waiting for me, and I plopped down on the davenport to tell her about my day. She made me laugh, she was my home away from home, and I was wrapped up in our time together.

She gardened, right along-side her house and all over her patio, and there was always something there. That something, was a butterfly. I remember them in her yard, along with tomatoes, hanging plants, and tons of flowers. Her little haven became mine too. When she passed away my senior year of high school, I was devastated. Actually, to date, this has been the hardest person for me to come to terms with losing. She was every. single. day. and she was always there. After she passed, and when I started losing weight- I vowed to get a butterfly tattooed on me. Not only for her, but to signify my transformation in weight loss, from a caterpillar to a butterfly as I found my own way.

The tattoo didn’t happen, but my heart still missed her.

In the last couple of months, things have been changing. I have been really anxious about the way things have been happening, and ultimately, I’ve questioned most decisions Dylan and I have been making. Then, about two months ago, I saw her. An orange butterfly accompanied me on my walk with Ellie. Grandma. At first, she would come once or so a week, but in the last month it’s been almost daily. Dylan sees them now too. She’s telling us she’s there, guiding us and watching over us. 

Then, today happened.

It was not a pretty day at work. It was not a pretty day with Ellie. Today was not good, and it solidified everything that has been stirring in my heart recently. To be completely honest, there was one point today where I said “Grandma, if I see you today, I’ll take this as a sign of (insert statement here)”. To myself, it was almost a challenge to see if it would really happen. If you knew Grandma Colleen, she doesn’t let go of a challenge.

I put the leash on Ellie, walked her downstairs, and instantly saw an orange butterfly. Then, I saw a second. Upon turning the corner of our apartment onto the sidewalk, the butterfly count was in the tens. Once Ellie and I got around the building, there were between 50-100. Grandma Colleen was there. Today, she was really there. Today, on the day when I really needed to know she was there, she showed up. She answered me, exactly as I had hoped, and exactly what Dylan and I needed to hear.

She’s really been here for me lately, exactly when I needed her, just like she always was the first 18 years of my life.

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