I stared out the window at the path of pale gold light left behind by the setting sun. It had been a tough day. Poupon, our sweet gray cat, hadn’t been feeling well and it appeared the situation was getting worse. He wasn’t eating and he barely moved from his spot in front of the fireplace.
I was scared. Really scared. I knew blood test results would be coming later in the day, and to make matters worse, I was also grieving my dad who died a year ago today.
Up for most of the night, I finally forced myself out of bed at sunrise. After sitting with Poupon for a while, I went into my office and took out a folder that contained cards and letters from my father. Part ritual to honor our relationship, part invitation to grieve, I opened the folder and slowly went through its contents.
My dad started writing his life story several years before he passed. It was an outline really. White computer paper filled with one-liners that captured the significant moments that shaped the man he would become. As I read the passages, I was overcome with both grief and gratitude. These pages are a treasure, I kept thinking, a rare look into the heart and mind of a man who deeply influenced my life.
Along with his story, there were thank you notes, birthday cards, important information he felt moved to share, and even lyrics to a song he loved: Little Things Mean A Lot by Kitty Kallen.
And there were butterflies.
Lots of butterflies.
Butterflies were a thing between my father and me. When I turned eighteen he sent me a birthday card with a small gold butterfly pin inside. “You’re a free spirit,” he wrote under Love, Dad, “just like a butterfly.” That card inspired the sharing of many more between us over the years. Thank God I still have that pin.
I spent more than an hour going through the folder and when finished, I carefully put everything back in place and got up to go to work.
Later that day, we learned that Poupon’s blood work showed elevated liver enzymes and suggested that he may have ingested something toxic. Along with treating his liver, we needed to allow him to rest and do what we could to make sure he kept eating. He’s expected to be okay with time and love.
With a plan in place, I felt a bit more at ease, but truth be told I was still pretty scared. At lunchtime I stood on our back deck staring out at the sky, praying that Poupon would be okay. Helpless is not something I do well and patience would now be a practice I’d have to rely on.
I turned to my spiritual board of directors – loved ones who have passed on – my old friend Lucy, my dear Debbie Ford, the newest member, Louise Hay, and of course, my dad – the Chairman of the Board. I asked them to help heal Poupon and to give me the strength to deal with what comes our way.
I stayed there for quite a while and when I stood up to go back in the house, I noticed something floating in the breeze. I stepped forward and looked more closely, assuming it was a leaf falling from a nearby tree, but it wasn’t. I couldn’t believe what I saw. A Monarch butterfly flew this way and that, dancing out over the fields behind our home. A Monarch in November.
While love can be source of heartache, it can also open us to dimensions beyond what the mind can conceive or believe. In the end, it’s not the physical world that matters most. It’s the unbreakable bond we share with one another. And that comes from Love.
Video of the Week
This week’s video provides an infusion of joy through the inspiration of one fully alive little girl. You can watch it here.