Black Butterfly

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


For the past three days we've been sitting in the same place inside the school premises where my daughter was studying. We were seated near a piece of land that was supposed to be a garden, but obviously the place has not been visited by the school gardener in a while.

There were a lot of plants and we were lucky, there were some stray chilis that grew and so me and the other moms took the liberty of picking the green young chilis as I prefer this over the red ones because of it's aroma. Another mom pointed out to the calamondin ( Citrofortunella microcarpa , a citrus plant known as calamansi in the local language or lemonsito to some) , and said that picking some of those tiny round fruit is enough for us to make a "sawsawan" or simply sauce in English.

There was a different mood in the air, almost gloomy, but not totally sad. I decided to wait up for my daughter because she might be done with her exams earlier than their dismissal so we can go home earlier. Like any ordinary day, we started talking about how our kids are doing at home and in school, spouses, mother in laws and today we got a bit excited as one mom offered a business opportunity to us.

After she left, we went back to our usual favorite topics, me and their hopes of my involvement in a new relationship. They always encourage me to go out and start dating again.But as always, I say that I am not in a hurry and the right time will come once I am ready. 

As we were talking, we noticed a black butterfly circling around us, closer to me. It wasn't totally black but there were patches of white dots on its wings. It was fluttering from the plants behind us to where we were seated. Of course it would be normal to see butterflies in the area because there were a lot of plants there. Just not a black one.


And then my phone rang.

I read the name on the screen and I stopped to think whether I should get the call or not. A friend that I don't get to hang out with in years. What can she possibly want?  I took the call. She said hello, asked how I was but I can sense there was something in her voice. I said,"I'm fine, what's wrong?" I knew there was something wrong. There could be something wrong because she won't call me at all if there wasn't anything important. She passed the phone to another friend. Sad, sad, news.

Black butterflies signify a lot of things. Different culture different meanings. In many cultures, a black butterfly is a symbol of transition or a rebirth of something in the person. In Central America and in the Philippines, it is a symbol of death. It can appear when someone has died.

"I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"


Yes, someone has died, a significant person in my life. My friend left us early this morning. Although we already know that this was what his sickness was leading him to, we just never expected it to be sooner. 

Today I lost one good friend. I never had a real best girl friend,  He was the best friend I never had who has been a part of my triumphs and struggles in life. He saw every tear that fell from my eyes. He knew every happiness, every heartache that I had. He was family. He loved my children. He was the first one I'd call when I have relationship problems, one of the first persons who would always be present during my birthdays.

He was a brother, a shoulder to cry on. 

I missed him before and I miss him more now. It was only when I got alone that I started to cry, to sob. I let go of all the regrets, the what ifs and what nots, the should have been. But it was his decision that prevailed.


Should I see that black butterfly again, I would try to catch it, hold it in my hand and whisper, " go now, you are free..this is your rebirth, your new life free from pain. Enjoy God's presence as the sun shines on your pretty black wings.And when you finally meet Him, pray for us whom you left here that the pain in our hearts heal with the passing of time..."

Morning light, silken dream to flight
As the darkness gave way to dawn
You've survived, now your moment has arrived
Now your dream has finally been born

Black Butterfly, sailed across the waters
tell your sons and daughters
what the struggle brings
Black Butterfly, set the skies on fire
rise up even higher
so the ageless winds of time can catch your wings...

-verse from a Denice Williams song


Keeping the faith always,

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