A Monarch butterfly has taken up residence in our yard.  I see it flutter past my window each day and it seems to bring a message of hope.

The day that the father of my children died, I did not know how to grieve.  It was sudden, unexpected, the worst type of loss for the ones left behind.  My heart broke for my daughter and son.  And I was deeply saddened to know that the man I spent so much of my life with, since I was seventeen, no longer walked this earth.

There had never been an experience like this in my life, but in times of deep sadness and despair, typically, I find my way in nature, alone with my prayer.  So, on this day in June, twelve years ago, I found a place for a long walk where I could be alone.  My tears came readily, for the memory of a good man, who always did his best.  I always respected Jack, a devout Catholic his whole life, and a good husband and father.

As I was deeply involved with these thoughts and happy memories, a Monarch butterfly joined me.  It fluttered all around me, landed on my shoulder several times, and stayed with me for the longest time.  I took this as a sign from Jack that all was well with him, on the other side of life, and it comforted me.  I found it very difficult to know the appropriate way to grieve an ex-husband, but this sign helped.

And now, another Monarch butterfly in my midst.  I have never noticed one stay so long in my yard, around my home, in all my life, and so I choose to believe it is another sign.  Another sign to comfort me.  To tell me that all is well.  And in my fearful times of my own death, that all is well on the other side.  I know this to be true, but in some dark moments, I experience fear of the unknown.

I am grateful for the appearance of the beautiful butterfly.  It warms my heart and sustains me in my faith.

This past month has been exceedingly difficult.  Normal bodily functions have been disrupted by essential medications, a vicious cycle and one that is challenging to rectify.  Day to day and hour to hour, I am in the moment.  Planning is impossible.  I find myself wondering if I had only lived more of my life acutely aware of the present, rather than dwell in the past or fear the future, how differently I may have made various choices. 

But I am not regretting what I have done.  I am sorry for making some poor choices, all out of fear, but I have forgiven myself and I am making great progress in forgiving others.  It brings inner peace.

And so my dear readers, today I ask you to try to be in this very moment.  Let go of fear, whenever you are able.  When it appears, stop, recognize it, identify it.  Oh, that is fear….and let it go.  The only thing that truly matters is now, and making choices which will enhance your life and the lives of others.  God bless you.