MARCH 7, 2021: “Seventeen Butterflies” …

Every Christmas, my ex and his mom send a fresh wreath with little butterflies on it to our daughter’s grave. It happens every year faithfully since the very first Christmas without her, and their beautiful wreaths are something I always enjoy seeing as “me and mine” make our own treks to dress her spot with a basket befitting an angel.

But then … THIS year! As par for the course now, after her birthday, her dad brings the old wreaths for me to do my thing. It’s a labor of love that fills my heart with unspeakable joy, because for all she brought to me in a few short hours, taking them apart and piecing them into my own spring baskets just makes me feel so close to her energy. While I was on the phone with her dad this January, this conversation happened …

Hey, guess what I’m doing? I’m taking apart her wreath and getting ready to make the basket.

Oh, good! There’s seventeen, right?

Seventeen? Seventeen WHAT?

Seventeen butterflies. We add one every year, and this year she’d have been seventeen.

My heart hit the floor in the best kind of way. I had no idea that year after year, one by one, as I’d been carefully cutting those delicate butterflies from their wires and setting them on tissue paper until it was time for their final journey, there was yet another hidden picture waiting to be revealed in keeping with the sweet mosaic rhythm of my life.