On Cycles

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Cycle-noun 2a: a course or series of events or operations that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point

Merriam-Webster

Butterfly Lifecycle

“And then the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and then it becomes a butterfly!”

Mon Cœur

In my last post, I shared about milkweed, an essential plant for the monarch butterfly. 

We have been focused on the lifecycle of butterflies at our house for the past couple of weeks.

Our Insect Lore cup of caterpillars arrived just a week ago, and last night were in chrysalis stage.

This morning, Millie’s anniversary, there was one butterfly to greet me as I started the coffee. Another had emerged right before our walk.

In Millie’s garden, we’ve spied three monarch butterfly caterpillars in the past week.

It is always amazing to watch how a caterpillar egg becomes a caterpillar and grows, changes into a chrysalis and finally hatches into butterfly. I love to listen to Mon Cœur explain the process with all of the excitement that bubbles out through her smile and gestures as she talks. “And then the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and then it becomes a butterfly!,” MC exclaims.

It’s nice to have something to look for as we water the garden in the morning.

Life cycles

It has been especially therapeutic to put the phone down, and do things, instead of documenting and sharing.

Everything is cyclical, and recently I’ve been in a lull online, and I’ve been focusing on family. Being intentional. Quiet opportunities to reflect. Millie’s garden. A daily routine to bring purpose and peace.

None of these areas of focus included blogging or Instagram or documenting our day. Although it felt weird at first, it has been especially therapeutic to put the phone down, and do things, instead of doing and documenting and then finding words to share.

We’ve watered, weeded, walked, and soaked in the sun, dug our toes in the sandbox, and swung in the swing. It’s amazing what unplugging and acting like a kid again can do for the soul.

I’m finding a time and place to fit the blog and IG back in now, and it’s feeling more natural.

Grief Cycle

Today is Millie’s anniversary- I may have already shared that. This past week has been incredibly hard to navigate. Last year wasn’t this difficult. It is difficult for so many different reasons… some seasons are easier than others. This time now is hard.

MC is old enough to start communicating her feelings and grief to me. Oh, this is how my mom must feel for me. My heart aches for Millie and then my heart aches double for the sadness I see in MC’s eyes and what she conveys to me as her grief.

“I miss Millie and Poopa.”

“I miss them too,” I said. “We will see them again one day.”

“We need to make a cake for Millie. And then eat it for her.”

“What kind of cake?” I asked.

Originally she had said strawberry, and then changed her mind to blueberry.

Last night we made a blueberry pound cake – by we, I mean I measured the ingredients and told MC what order to add ingredients. She did everything but pour the batter in the pans and put it in the oven. She’s pretty amazing. We had it with breakfast this morning and I keep going back to it throughout the day.

It was unbearably difficult to hold it together as we approached the date. A sort of anxiety seemed to cloud my mind. I thought about what Millie would be doing now if she were here with us – she’d be walking, talking, running around with MC.

Then I woke up and I felt peaceful. We’ve spent the whole day as a family. Today I have been comforted by friends and family sharing their love, by seeing Millie in the butterflies that hatched earlier than expected, and by the walk through nature where we encountered many signs of her presence despite the fact that she is physically missing in our lives.

And I remind myself that even though I miss Millie with a deep sadness that can never be fully healed…we have been blessed by Mon Amour. If Millie we’re here today, MA wouldn’t be. We are so grateful for him.

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