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Monday Motivation: The Beauty of Butterfly Friendships

January 16, 2023

Monday Motivation, Inspiration for Women, Females in Business, Women Friendships

One by one we entered the exquisite house of our hostess, brought together to celebrate a mutual friend who left us in August. Some of the beautiful faces of the twelve women who gathered were familiar, and some were not. The ones I knew hugged me, happy to be together again since the sad, hot August memorial services. The unfamiliar women smiled as joyfully as our mutual friend indicating they were sisters in friendship immediately. Drawn together by a glowing heart and energetic spirit, we gathered around a table for lunch and stories of our dear Teresa, wearing matching butterfly pins, given to us from our hostess since Teresa loved butterflies.

Touching elbows with women on both sides of me felt perfectly natural as we shared a meal, drinks, and laughs on a chilly January day in the warmth of our memories. At the conclusion of lunch, we were led into a gorgeous, vaulted living room with floor to ceiling windows looking out on the river as geese flew in formation above it. We were like the geese being led together into a two-hour sharing circle as we each exchanged personal awakenings gifted to us by our friend.  All emotions spilled out – not sad ones for her loss – but happy ones for knowing her.

Friends come in different times of our lives; some are with us from almost birth to death, others during school or careers, and others from mutual friends who draw us together. This gathering of friends came from the third way but bonded so deeply we felt we had known each other forever. “Friends are the family we choose, or sometimes they choose us; two people who have connected with a bond of faith and trust” a meaning shared with us from our gracious hostess Emily.  ”We are family and Teresa is always with us when we gather or when we are alone.”

My friendship with Teresa started in 2009 and little did I know then, her and I would share a health journey together ten years later, talking through our issues, empowering each other, and making sure our “perceived illness” did not define who we were or how we lived our lives. In fact, our health diagnosis inspired us to do more sports together, to travel, to attend joyous musical events on the spur of a moment and gather poolside in a whim to talk the hours away. Light, breezy, and not as serious as you might think our conversations would be, because we were determined to define our own positive way of living with our difficult health issues.

So it wasn’t a surprise to me that within the month Teresa passed away, and after being totally bald for four years due to alopecia, my hair started to grow. I know she must have bee-lined or fluttered her wings to heaven and pleaded for my condition to leave and my hair to grow again. I know most people believe in Fairy Godmothers, I believe in Hairy Godmothers – aka my friend Teresa – doing her angel thing energetically and happily. Five months since her death my head has hair and I believe so strongly it has something to do with her above.

As the event ended yesterday, it felt like we didn’t want our time together to end so we hugged, promised each other to stay in touch, and left full of memories of our dear friend and mementos from our experience – a butterfly pin, marigold seeds, poems, magical drawings and above all else, full hearts of gratitude and kinship that only occur when you gather together in the name of someone you all love. She was there. She will always be there.

Today and tomorrow, may your life be full of unexpected friendships that bloom into beauty and meaning.

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