Later that day when my husband and I returned from the beach, we had a message from my sister-in-law, telling us that my mother-in-law had been rushed to the hospital and was on life support. I couldn’t help but think that while her body lay motionless in the hospital ICU, her spirit was soaring, finding us at the beach and thankful to be rid of the body that cancer had ravaged. When I told my husband this, he looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
My mother-in-law was a fighter. No doubt about it. When she was first diagnosed, the doctors told her she had weeks to live. She defied them by living courageously with her disease for five years. At the same time, she was preparing for her death. She left a folder with personal letters for each member of the family as well as suggestions for her services. Among the papers, we found a poem about eagles. Driving back from her funeral, my husband noticed an eagle just standing on a frozen lake in the middle of Maine. He didn’t believe his eyes and stopped the car to look at it.
After seeing the eagle, he thinks I was right about the butterfly.