April 1942 – July 2008
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
Oh, My Pretty Butterfly, where have you gone.
Several years ago, we lived in the high desert near Palm Springs and learned first hand how precious life was. Late summer thunderstorms would ravage the area with torrents of rain. It was that very thing that made Pam’s life blossom in the early spring with the abundant growth of cactus, wildflowers, towering Joshua trees with blooms and the wildlife that depends on growth of living matter in which to eat. Some years, the storms were heavy and some light, but when the rain gauge filled during the big storms, my wife could sense that we would see plenty of baby rabbits, foxes and desert animals. This she loved.
The second year in Yucca Valley, we experienced a migration of Monarch butterflies. I first noticed them all headed North, perhaps to Pismo Beach or Monterey. When Pam saw what appeared to be millions of the beautiful flying creatures, she just sat down in her lawn chair to watch them. I could almost see what she was thinking about the marvel she was witnessing, probably wondering where they were all going. This spectacle continued on for two more days and do you know, she wouldn’t let me drive anywhere for fear of hitting one or more of the butterflies with the cars windshield? From that day on, my lady had newfound respect for the flying living things that adorned our area for a short time. She painted them on canvas, read books about them and genuinely loved thinking about the unique creatures.
During her Celebration of Life at Waller Park, a short poem that I found in one of her notebooks will be read by Tom Williams to display her love of butterflies. “Don’t forget to look up”, as she has said when starting to tear.
Now that she has passed on, I often think maybe she has become a pretty butterfly only to fly around and watch us all here on earth during our struggles with everyday life. I hope that is the case because I like to think that – It makes me feel better. “Where have you gone today pretty little butterfly?”
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