I have a social butterfly for a mother. She loves to flit about just like a butterfly from flower to flower saying hello to everyone she can. Sitting on her front porch she’ll holler out a hello and start up a conversation with anyone who walks by. Church is her particularly favorite flower garden of people to visit.
A few years ago, a young family with itsy bitsy children befriended her. The baby would hug her and want to be held, the other kids would give her a sweet hug. Since most of her grandkids live a fair distance away, this was extra special to her. Sort of like substitute grandkids. As those bitty kids grew older they got somewhat shy about hugs. As a result what used to be hugs between them morphed into fist bumps. I suppose it felt a bit less awkward for the kids. Either way, Mom still felt acknowledged and loved by this small gesture from these not so small people.
Those fist bumps evolved. She’d wander the halls after church looking for those once little kids and fist bump them, along with pretty much anyone else who would catch her eye. It’s been quite a sight to see this frail silver-haired lady fist bumping teenagers and grownups and tiny tots. I tell ya, it totally makes her week.
Mom started chemotherapy about a month ago to treat stage four C word. Dad just wants to keep her home, sheltered from the germs of the world, which is wise, since her immune system is shot to heck. But for a social butterfly, isolation is basically worse than death. So they still go to church, unless she’s feeling under the weather. The happy thing about this fist bump habit she’d already acquired is that she can still greet people with her own brand of love. There’s fewer germs on the back of a hand than on the palm which a traditional handshake carries. Her fist bumps allows her to say hello, feel connected, and give or get love with less risk.
She doesn’t have much energy to wander the halls after church now, but plenty of people come by her pew, make eye contact and get a fist bump from her. When they ask how she’s doing, she answers, “As good as can be expected!” That’s an honest answer to an genuine inquiry. I find it an interesting turn of events that the flowers now come visit this sweet butterfly.
I don’t know how much longer the world gets to enjoy this particular stunning butterfly, Hopefully it’s a gentle flight filled with all the flowers of family and friends. She’s surely brought plenty of that to people as she’s flitted into and out of their lives. Mine has been particularly blessed by her vibrant wings of love.
Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.