Another animal who has often shown up for me symbolically is the Monarch butterfly. I used to call her my “God wink”. She usually appears to me as the bearer of good news during times of change. I always know when I see one that the Universe has heard what’s on my heart, and is bringing me peace and encouragement regarding the situation. I crossed paths with one the day I found out I was pregnant with our first son, and my husband and I also released them on our wedding day as a symbol of our intent to always let our relationship evolve from moment to moment. To allow each other room for flight, but also to chose to grow new things together during times where we may be experiencing separate growth as well.
The most astounding symbol of change and hope happened for us before I became pregnant with our son. My husband’s family has been ravaged by a disease known as Huntington’s Chorea. They have recently made strides in controlling the disease, but at the time we were ready to start a family, there was no help to be had from medicine if you had the disease. We decided together that we would have testing done to ensure that he was not a carrier of the disease, as it is genetic. We didn’t want to pass it on to our children. It was a very long process to get the testing done. A specialist in the field had to fly in from Omaha to meet with us. There were assessments made, blood drawn, and my husband had to have counseling with a psychiatrist before he could even receive the results of the testing, which took a few months to get back. The suicide rate for those who find out they have the disease was quite high at the time. It was a hopeless disease with no cure. Finally, we were given the clear and the results were in. Driving down the highway to our Doctor’s appointment, a large monarch flew directly across our path. I knew instantly that the results were going to be positive, and I told my husband what I thought. Of course, we were pretty scared about the situation. We were aware that we may be receiving the news of a death sentence. Although we’re never guaranteed a single day, we’d seen what the disease had done, and didn’t want it to be our story. Part of me wanted to believe that this butterfly was our God wink, our messenger, and part of me wanted to stay “logical” and not get my hopes up. We were caught between two paradigms. Our specialist practiced 8 hours away, and so we were set up with a local hospital to have a Skype session with he and his assistant. A chaplain from the hospital was required to be with us from the time we entered the meeting room, until we left.
Our Skype session began. My stomach was filled with butterflies at this point, and I could feel the fear trying to penetrate the room. I can’t imagine how my husband must have felt. To add to the intensity, the specialist informed us that his assistant was running late, and that he needed to wait for her to deliver the news. Time moved so slowly. It was impossible to make small talk, so we sat in awkward silence, until finally she appeared on screen. This was it. The moment of truth. It was impossible to read their faces. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to keep our spirits lifted before they broke the bad news, or if they were really happy about the news they had to share. What we immediately found out, was that, of course, just as the Universe had already confirmed with our butterfly, he was completely healthy and disease free. Of course we both cried, the chaplain cried, the assistant and the Specialist cried. They were so happy to deliver good news, as it most often wasn’t the case for them. And then…….the specialist gave us the most miraculous news of all: MY HUSBAND DIDN’T EVEN CARRY A CHROMOSOME INDICATING THAT THE DISEASE RAN IN THE FAMILY. If he hadn’t had the blood work from multiple family members to prove my husband’s relation to them, he wouldn’t have believed the results. He had no explanation for that, and had never seen someone without the chromosome, even if they don’t carry the disease! It was absolutely amazing, unexplainable, and perfect.
Not everything has been perfect for us since, but we have repeatedly felt grateful for being able to have children and experience the life we have together. We try to remember to be in a place of gratitude in our relationship, even when we have a tough day, knowing that even the most delicate butterfly can be the bearer of great news. If there’s anything I have learned from Butterfly, it’s that power is not dependent on the size of the mountain you may need to climb, but the amount of faith that carries you regardless of your perceived size.
Hoping you all have an amazing day, and as always, thanks for joining me on my journey!
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