Butterflies and good-byes….


My mother passed-away in 2006,  sitting in my home, listening to Glenn Miller playing on satellite radio; she loved the 40’s Channel on XM and knew every song without missing a beat.

Some things, she remembered.

We were her family aside from her two remaining brothers who managed to hide in the shadows after taking a few material advantages during her deteriorating mental state; both have now gone on to their greater reward which, I hope, has been a heavenly confrontation with their sister, or…the devil himself.

Mom had wanted to be cremated and I had her wishes carried out; services were private and unconventional.  My oldest daughter flew up from Florida with her little son and together we went to the funeral home to pick up my mother’s ashes.  Along with my middle daughter and two other grandchildren, we tucked my mother into a colorful tote bag and all went shopping…to Trader Joe’s.  My mother’s favorite pastime was going into a store, any store, for hours on end.

That excursion was followed by a trip to the beach, mother included.  She just loved the beach.


There, on that warm July day, the kids played, we laughed and suddenly…one solitary butterfly hovered around us for what seemed hours.  As we looked, there were no other delicate painted creatures flying around… except for this one.

Butterflies were another of my mother’s favorites; she had butterfly earrings, pins, necklaces and knick-knacks everywhere when she was alive.
We smiled and enjoyed the visitor who periodically landed on top of the tote bag where Mom rested.  Very late that afternoon, when it came time to pack up and head home, the butterfly slowly flew away, stopping now and then as if to look back and say good-bye.

And we said ours.



  1. b. lee says:

    simply beautiful … bittersweet ~ love that you, your daughters & grandchildren spent the day with her after having her ashes in hand … life really is a mystery & the magical energy embedded in 'love' is so powerful * * thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Colie says:

    This makes my heart happy. What a beautiful post. I'm honored to have had a little part in it.Hugs,Colie

  3. Crystal says:

    That's a beautiful post. My grandma has alzheimers…she's just a shadow of who she used to be. I was touched by your memory of the butterfly….maybe, in some way, that was your mom…saying goodbye.

  4. Oh Patty, I am tearing up reading this. What a beautiful way to remember your mothers life. She would have been so happy for this day with ya'll. Thank you for sharing, and for making my morning 🙂

  5. Slidecutter says:

    Thank you all for your comments!I try very hard to remember gentler moments with my mother; not always easy!After the beach/butterfly story, my oldest daughter returned to Florida with her son and…her Grandmother who she carried in a Lord & Taylor shopping bag aboard the flight home.My mother now resides in The Sunshine State in the home of her first born grandchild, one of the very few people she remembered even at the end of dementia's rampage.

  6. Natalie says:

    I've got tears in my eyes and can't decide if they're happy tears or sad tears. Both, I guess. You're the best bloggy friend ever.

  7. It seems like unconventional is often more meaningful. Your remembrance is beautiful!

  8. sandbox gems says:

    It's nice to have such memories to cherish and share and tribute to the special things in their lives. My mom passed 6 years ago and I still cherish thinking about the things she loved and enjoyed and shared with us. Beautiful! Stopping in from FLOB today.

  9. shah wharton says:

    Loss is a heavy burden yet you made it seem magical here. Thank you for that. Shah. X

  10. Beautiful post! I have not lost my Mother and I don't know what I would do without her. You just made me want to call her on the phone and tell her how much she means to me because life is too short. I’m a new follower Happy Sunday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!http://heavenlysavings.blogspot.com

  11. Jen HaHA says:

    Very beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I read the link to your previous post. How convenient of your uncle who dabbles in antiques to have taken your mom's bunnies. And the other one actually starting subscriptions in her name? Wow! Unreal!Found you on Comment Love Sunday. I'm a new follower!

  12. Ashley says:

    Beautiful post. XO

  13. that's a lovely post, thanks for sharing.I came from Comment Love. I love your blog's name!Grace

  14. Sonia says:

    Teary eyes, sweet and bitter in my heart after reading your beautiful post. I found you on FTLOB, and I am glad I did!

  15. shah wharton says:

    Popping by from the Weekend Creation Blog Hop to say hello. Thanks for linking up. Shah .X

  16. Bittersweet and lovely. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt slice of your life.

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