Fortunately her lessons were many and while not a scholarly woman, her wisdom still resonates today. It is a huge part of her legacy.
I remember during the funeral mass for my Mom, a friend of our family and a Franciscan from my alma mater, Archbishop Curley, Fr. Vincent Gluc said mass. He compared life on Earth to the life of a caterpillar. He compared death to the caterpillar’s time in a cocoon only to emerge as the more beautiful butterfly.
The spot on metaphor was intended of course to compare the caterpillar’s new life as a butterfly to that of my Mom as she traveled to a new form of consciousness to meet her Maker.
Not long after my Mom’s passing, I was playing golf with my Dad. I’ll never forget this moment and trust me, I’m not one who possesses a steel trap for a memory. Mine is more like a slippery slope.
Anyway on that day, I was addressing the ball on the 10th tee at Pine Ridge. Just as I was about to begin my backswing a beautiful Monarch butterfly landed on my chest. It just sat there and appeared to be looking at me. I stood there, looking back at it until she decided to take off and go on her way.
I felt a strange kind of peacefulness and I thought of Fr. Vince’s metaphor.
Mom had stopped by to say hello.
Whether it was her or not, I suppose I’ll never know for sure while I reside on this planet. But in my mind, it was her and to this day whenever I see a butterfly that seems to have gone out of its way to capture my attention, I simply say, “Hello Mom.”
It makes me smile and it eases the pain that lingers even today, 17 years later.
By the way, she must have also helped my focus on that golf ball. If you are familiar with the hole, the perfect play is a drive along the tree line on the left with a slight fade towards the end. On that day, I played that hole like a pro and was left with a wedge to the green.
There’s little doubt in my mind that that Monarch had everything to do with the flight of that tee shot on that beautiful day.
I miss you Mom.