There is a protected butterfly called the Karner Blue that is Native to the Capital District and other parts of the United States that are home to the Blue Lupine plant which grows in the Pine Bush of Albany NY. Maybe you have seen this butterfly on something in my home or in a photo of mine recently and wondered: “what is it about that Blue Butterfly?” Maybe you have also seen many people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS and wondered if I would ever do one? I will not be doing an Ice Bucket Challenge but I will be donating money to ALS research but this story is about a bit more connection than simply these two things.
My husband and I were passionate about many causes and many justice issues during our tragically brief romance but no cause spoke more about us than Reconciling Ministries and Social Action within the United Methodist Church. This will come as no surprise to regular readers and friends but some of you may not know that one of the reasons that these two issues were a passion of mine had to do with a dear friend named Chipp. Chipp was my best work friend for ten years, my constant lunch buddy, my confidante and one of the best friends in the world to me. Chipp passed away this past March, Chipp and his partner had two kids and Chipp left behind many many more friends than just myself. One of those friends is a beautiful woman who Chipp called his sister and on the day that Chipp died of ALS she told the world that “Chipp earned his Butterfly Wings today.”
Never in my life did I think that only a few short weeks after saying goodbye to my friend that I myself would be choosing a floral arrangement for my own beloved Donald but there I stood on a hot day in June after my husband’s funeral choosing flowers for his Memorial Service in our hometown of Albany NY and there sat a Karner Blue Butterfly at the Florist waiting to be placed in the arrangement.
Don loved to walk and loved to ride his bicycle and the Albany Pine Bush is a wonderful place to do both of those things. There is a proverb that says that “Just when the Caterpillar thought the world was over it became a Butterfly.”
If you are blessed to live somewhere where Karner Blue Butterflies can be glimpsed, think of Chipp and Donald when you catch sight of one, for if you are indeed granted this rare blessing you will not forget the moment for sure. For once you have been blessed by one of these Butterfly Angels your life will indeed never be viewed in quite the same way again.
Missing you my sweetheart!