amm has been visiting us in the form of butterflies.  One day a few weeks ago I realized that there were 3 butterfly references related to ammin less than a day. Once we started telling people about the butterflies others shared their recent butterfly stories. So the next time you receive a card with a painted butterfly or see one fluttering above your head, make sure you say hello to amm!

The following are the butterfly stories. I won’t reference anyone by name, unless you let me know you are okay with me sharing. And also please let me know if I don’t have the correct details.

It all began with the first three:

  1. A dear friend has been sending amm poetry for us to read to her and one of the poems was about butterflies.
  2. Later that night I spoke with one of amm’s closest friends and she told me how she was standing in her backyard, not really doing anything, looked up and the hugest monarch butterfly twittered by and danced above her head for a few minutes. So she said to the butterfly, “Is that you Anne-Marie?”
  3. The next morning another friend of amm told me about the time they travelled to a conference together and got fake butterfly tattoos on their upper chests. Then they took pictures of themselves and sent them to their young adult sons, as their sons were friends. How embarrassing for the boys, but hilarious for the moms!
  4. Another friend of amm told me how when her mom was ill, butterflies seemed to visit her often in various forms.
  5. Yet another amm friend reminded me of emails that we had shared, discussing butterfly kisses (when you blink your eye lashes on each others eyes) as amm and I used to do that when I was young. Not to mention the scarf that amm’s friend brought her that has butterflies all over it – she said she just saw it and felt she needed to get it for amm.
  6. A close buddy of Charles explained how he saw the biggest butterfly on the 13th hole at the NBG&CC – Charles’ favourite hole (now personally, I don’t know why amm would choose to go to a golf course!! 🙂 ) But his buddy thought that amm was looking for Charles on the golf course.
  7. Another friend of amm read two more poems to her with butterflies in the text.
  8. The huge butterfly visited amm’s closest friend again. That day she was raking mouldy leaves in her backyard and was stuffy afterwards. I reminded her that amm would have told her to wear a mask, as amm always wore a mask while working in dusty areas (which KK always made fun of her for). amm’s closest friend figured that it was amm telling her to go put a mask on but she didn’t listen!
  9. amm’s closest friend sent KK a mini rosebush for her birthday and in the flowers was a plastic yellow butterfly. KK assumed the closest friend asked for the butterfly, based upon past conversations. But she soon found out that the closest friend did not ask for the butterfly to be included. Creepy!
  10. Charles was raking amm’s flower bed – a favourite spot of hers – and he said the last stepping stone that he uncovered had a blue butterfly on it. (Side note – when I was at the house next, I looked at the stepping stone and it wasn’t actually a butterfly, but instead a dragon fly. It was a good try on Charles’ part – they are both insects with wings…I can see where the confusion entered the equation.)
  11. The following is an excerpt from an email of the butterfly scarf friend: “We were in our sunroom (where I have several plants) Thurs evening and the almost full moon shone brightly thru the windows illuminating two treasured gifts from amm….one a “red-hat gal” garden stake whose shawl, I realized in that moonlight,  is dotted with butterflies and she has wings…then, looking around the room I noticed the glitter of what I  always thought was a silver butterfly – another gift from amm, which decorates a plant as well….so thinking this was another sign, took a closer look and realized it’s a dragon fly!….so Chas isn’t the only one who has some confusion with winged insects!….regardless, these little visits are so amm…gotta love it.”
  12. A friend of amm sent me this email: I was just reading your section on butterflies – I’ve been seeing some already this spring, so I’ll watch for your mom! One of my friends (who just happens to be a butterfly collector) shared one of his favourite passages with me once, from a Taoist text. “Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious of only my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconcious as my individuality as a man. Suddenly I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or if I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” Maybe your mom is now fluttering around, just letting us know she has become even more enlightened than she was before…
  13. A friend of mine and a former student of amm sent me this email: I was looking through your site yesterday and I read through the section about butterflies and was thinking how special that is to have something like that to make you think of your mom and I also read the section on parenting and enjoyed that too. Then last night after supper I took my son to the park and as we were playing I noticed a small butterfly fluttering around the slide that he had been sliding on several times! Then it flew over around his little tricycle that I pushed him to the park on and then flew off up into the trees… My first thought was of the stories I had just read about your mom and the butterflies and thought maybe she had popped in to say hello!
  14. amm’s dear friend sent this message through her daughter on September 22, 2009: I’m Leanne’s daughter and my Mom was telling me an interesting story that she wanted you to know.  My Mom was watching Drew, my daughter, for an afternoon and they were dancing in the backyard to ABBA’s ‘dancing queen’, when literally 20 yellow and black butterflies were swarming them.  As my Mom is telling me this story and it’s relevance, I’m washing my dishes and happened to be washing a little bowl and cup that your Mom got for Drew when she was born, and it has bunnies and butterflies printed all over them.  My Mom told me that her and your Mom used to say that they were going to have an afternoon with the grand daughters dancing to ABBA….so I guess your Mom kept her word!  And now, every single time I take Drew in our backyard to play, there’s about AT LEAST 8 to 10 black and yellow butterflies surrounding us.
  15. March 14, 2010 – My supervisor/boss at work traveled to Korea. He brought me back a bookmark that is a metal cutout depicting flowers and, yes, butterflies. I told him the connection to amm and butterflies and he said that there were a few options and he chose the only one with butterflies. I hope amm had a good time in Korea!
  16. *updated* April 7, 2010 – This email came from amm’s friend Marlene a few days ago: “Kirsten…guess what! I had tea outside this morning with AMM!!!! The black and orange butterfly…the first of the season…came and sat on the picnic table near me this morning as I had tea in front of my studio. I was so, so excited. It stayed for about 10 minutes. Lovely, peaceful feeling!!!”

Please send me your amm butterfly story for me to add. I may have forgotten one that you already told me…

These first three butterfly pictures were taken by amm’s dear friend who had the first butterfly meeting. This is what she wrote about these pictures:  Kirsten… we were at our nephew’s wedding 2 years ago when I happened upon this fantastic sight. Of course I had my camera with me! The wedding was in Vermont in mid June. We went to this spa for lunch and sat outside. The shaded patio was surrounded by lilac bushes and I can easily recall the scent that wafted over the deck. I was truly amazed to see such a beautiful butterfly.

The last three pictures were taken by amm’s friend at the school division office.