Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A butterfly flaps its wings

I can't believe I only blogged twice in July (& that the last time was nearly a month ago). Needless to say, with a new immediate boss coming on board at work (after 16 years with my former boss, who retired at the end of April), our 25th wedding anniversary, & vacation -- which included my parents' 50th (party for 100 people) & family reunion -- among other distractions -- I have had little time or energy to write, and am also sadly behind on my blog reading & commenting. I'm back at home & at work this week, & while I generally had a good time, I am physically, mentally & emotionally exhausted.

But while I enjoyed being at "home" & seeing my immediate & extended family & friends, & while the party & reunion were fun overall, they also came with a lot of work & stress attached. And while I don't want to get into the details here, let's just say that dh & I were not seeing eye to eye at times.

At several key points during our vacation -- the good stuff -- my dad's birthday party, the afternoon of the anniversary party, etc. -- we saw a monarch butterfly, which of course reminded us of Katie & always made us smile at each other, like we had a special secret between us.

But all was not sunshine & roses & butterflies. At the worst point, we were taking a walk & having a somewhat heated conversation.

And there on the curb was a dead monarch. I thought my heart was going to break. And it sounds funny to write this now, but it actually flashed into my mind that I had just written such glowing things about my marriage & my 25th wedding anniversary on my blog -- & if this was a sign, man, I was going to seem like such a hypocrite if & when I had to write a very different post down the road. :p

I think it WAS a sign, but maybe not the one I had initially feared. The sight gave both of us pause, I think. We went back to our room & talked & called a truce, and things improved, for the most part, from that point on. If it wasn't a bad omen, it most certainly was a wake up call, reminding us what was really important -- Katie, & each other -- & how even the best & closest marriages have rough spots & need work now & then.

Thanks, little girl.

*** *** ***

Parents' significant anniversaries & family reunions can be minefields for bereaved & infertile couples. But I have to say that I got through it all right & didn't think too much about the grandchild(ren) that should be here. We didn't invite any of my cousins' children to the anniversary party, because the hall only held 110 people comfortably & there simply wasn't room. The youngest person there was Parents' Neighbours' Daughter, who is 26 (!). And of the 40 people at our family reunion, there were two people in their 20s, two teenagers & two toddlers (the children of the couple in their 20s). Everyone else was in their mid-40s or older. Many of the cousins in my extended family are single or married later in life & do not have children, so I was far from alone in being childless. I suppose that might have seemed odd to some people, but to me, it's just my family. It was nice not to have to think about it too much, actually.

*** *** ***

I can't believe it is already August. And that those two significant dates on my calendar are here again, later this week. Not sure how I feel about it this year. I haven't really had much time to think about it (& maybe that's a good thing). I guess I'll find out shortly.

12 years. Wow.


  1. Loribeth,

    You reminded me that I saw an amazing yellow butterfly today ... it sailed right past the front of my car ... in place with no flowers ... a rare and unexpected sight. I meant to look it up on the web. I have a friend who was a big believer in animal totems as signs.

    I found lots of messages about transformation as well as this:

    "Butterfly enters our life as a messenger for change. If it comes to us hurt or ill, Butterfly asks us to stop keeping our joy at bay. It may take some time being alone with ourselves to listen to Butterfly's gentle requests that we allow the natural transformation of things"

    I found this part relevant for myself, since I am going through some family drama right now and we are taking a lot of stuff for keeping our distance ... it's hard not to second guess your own instincts sometimes, so this was a nice validating sentiment:

    "This insect is extremely sensitive to the Harmony of Earth, and is the first creature to leave a damaged ecology."


  2. Hi, Loribeth. I'm thinking of you on this time of milestones.

    I like the meaning you both assigned to the monarch.

    My sister just wrote about butterflies.


    XOXO to you, my friend.

  3. Look at this! Both of us traveling (in opposite directions, sadly) for family affairs!

    Hubby & I found ourselves the only family members without kids as well. Bittersweet as it was at some times, I must say that I did enjoy ourselves.

    Wanna hear something strange? During this trip, Hubby & I had a pretty yucky argument, too. I'm guessing it's probably from all the stress we'd been dealing with lately (loss of job, huge family gathering, stress of traveling, etc). But either way, I'm glad we've weathered through it again.

    And I'm glad you two have, as well.

    I'll be thinking of you this week and wishing the best for you & Hubby on this milestone ...


  4. Sorry about the argument. D and I had a nasty one while on vacation last month. It still rankles. : (

    I'm glad you're back, though; I've missed reading your posts!

  5. Missed you and your writing. Glad the trip had some good times for you.
    I hope the week goes easy on your heart.12 years. A lifetime.

  6. So will this season be a time of transformation for you?

  7. I read once that a family vacation holds as much stress as a divorce. Terrible, isn't it, the toll is takes on us to organize a vacation or host a party or do something to make ourselves and others feel good.

    Remember - the wake up call and the truce are the important parts of your story.