Thursday, February 12, 2015

Paper Butterflies

With a prayer in my heart, I knocked at Cathrine's house. I had been told that her husband died suddenly last week, and, of course, she was heartbroken. Maybe she won't even want to come to the door, I thought. But then when I saw this woman I was surprised to see her nicely dressed, hair curled, and make-up on. She looked sad, yet beautiful and much younger than she probably is. After I gave her the rose from her friend Trudy, she invited me in to sit and visit.

I asked Cathrine how she was coping. She said if she does nothing else, she will get up everyday, brush her teeth and get ready. She shared some of the stresses she now faces trying to make sense of her husband's business. (Most of the books were kept in his head.) His death was so sudden, and she wished she could have just 24 hours with him to go over so many details.

But no matter what, she was going to get up everyday and hold it together, if even for only two minutes at a time. 

She introduced me to two of her adult children, Jason and Tenille. Arms linked, Cathrine rested her head on her son's shoulder as Tenille showed me the program she made for her father's funeral. She told me how all the grandchildren were involved in setting up displays of their grandfather's life. One girl made a creative picture of a temple from paint chips because her grandpa was a painter.

Then Tenille handed me an origami butterfly. Butterflies are the mascot for those who suffer from Lupus. Tenille's daughter Makenna, who is sixteen and was diagnosed with the disease, recently began making these butterflies from little squares of patterned paper. First she writes different messages of hope on each one, then folds them up with "Open Me" on the wing, and leaves them different places. She'll put one with the waitress's tip, place one on a park bench, or hide one in a mailbox. It gives her a joy that softens her sickness. To see a sixteen year old do this makes me happy.

Today I am on a mission to hide the #11 butterfly for Makenna. I hope the person who finds it feels the love of this wise-beyond-her-years teenager and especially the love of God.


Kelly said...

Wow, you found a girl with your same passion. How great to see yet another fun way to share the love. A kindred spirit for sure.

Trina said...

Sounds like you are two of a kind.

Stephanie said...

I saw your story on the news tonight and thought it was just wonderful! What a great idea! We are visiting from out of town and I plan to spend an afternoon with my daughter to deliver roses when we get home. I think it will be such a great way for us to spend some time together. Thank you for making the world a better place to be!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know how much your story has touched me. I am sharing your story with the young women I teach on Sunday. The lesson is on adversity and you are such a wonderful example of how we should all be living. Thank you so very much for sharing.

Elizabeth Plehn said...

Thank you for your comments!