This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a story I wrote a few years ago that contains some of my favorite moments with my mom both before and after she made her transition. Enjoy!
Last Sunday, I visited Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, FL with some friends from church. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. It’s like being in another realm. Gentle notes of classical music waft through the air and dance with butterflies of every size and color. These graceful creatures flutter freely in a giant screened-in enclosure among trickling waterfalls, lush vegetation, and beautiful orchids. This place inspires a deep sense of peace and wonder.
I had been there only once before with my mom on Mother’s Day a few years before she died. It was a peaceful, joyful day, and one of my favorite memories of the last years of her life. Of course, this visit I was thinking and talking a lot about her with my friends. As we walked around the sanctuary, I commented that the large white butterflies floating around reminded me of angels. After we left, one of my friends sent me a photo she had taken earlier. In the photo one of those white butterflies was directly over my head. She said, “Look! It’s your mom watching over you!” I was already feeling nostalgic, and that got me right in the heart.
After Butterfly World, I started to feel a headache coming on. It got progressively worse, forcing me to lie down with a heated bean bag on my tense neck muscles and a cold compress with lavender oil on my forehead. It helped a little bit, but not enough to attend a small gathering at a friend’s apartment as I had planned. I finally acquiesced and took some ibuprofen. When that didn’t work, I asked Spirit for guidance on what would help me feel better. The answer I received surprised me. “Go walk on the beach and breathe some salt air.” It was after 10 o’clock, but I felt like that would help, so I jumped in my car and off to the beach I went.
Just fifteen minutes later I was by the healing waters of Mother Ocean. It was a beautiful, breezy, moonlit night. As I walked along the shoreline, the soft wind and rolling waves seemed to wash away my headache. As I continued, I noticed a plethora of staked off areas on the beach where sea turtles had laid their eggs. That’s when I remembered that one of my mom’s final wishes was to see sea turtles hatch at night. To honor this request, on her last Mother’s Day on Earth, my brother and I took her to see the Disney Nature film Oceans. I had seen it before and knew it contained a scene with sea turtles hatching and scampering to the sea. She loved it! Another beautiful Mother’s Day memory.
It was at this point on my walk that I started wondering if my mother was up to something. I’m not usually at the beach at that time of night. Was that horrible headache her way of getting me to the beach to see real hatchlings? I ended up walking for over an hour, all the while looking for signs of tiny turtles emerging from their nests. I sent my friend who took the photo a text message telling her about the synchronicity of my two Mother’s Day memories. Were they connected? How cool would it be if that’s why I was at the beach that night?
My friend told me about a time years ago when she saw a mother turtle laying eggs in the sand late at night. That sounded pretty cool too! I kept walking and looking, but the only thing spectacular I saw was lightning in the distance. My mother loved thunderstorms. When I was a kid, we watched them together from our garage as they swept through our neighborhood. The approaching storm felt like another message from her, or at least a message that it was time to go home. Even if I didn’t see any turtles, my heart was full of memories of her, and I definitely felt her presence. That was enough.
I had just started walking back when I noticed strange looking tire tracks heading into the ocean. That seemed odd. The waves should have washed away any marks from lifeguard vehicles or kids playing in the sand by now. Then it dawned on me. Those tracks weren’t heading into the ocean, they were heading out! I followed the trail up the beach and there she was. A mama turtle was just finishing up her work for the night. I stood there in awe and gratitude as I watched her cover up her nest before dragging her body back into the sea. I tried to snap a picture before she vanished into the waves, but it was too dark and I didn’t want to scare her with my flash. That’s okay. I will never forget her. I see now it had to be a mama turtle so I could feel that nurturing energy. She did her job and then it was time for her to move on, just like my mom. It sure felt like a message from my mother letting me know she is still watching over me, guiding me, and reminding me that the love we shared will never die.
If you enjoy these stories, please feel free to share them with friends via email or social media. It brings me great joy to share them with you, just like it brings me joy to share what I’ve learned from life, A Course in Miracles, and Family Constellations in private sessions and workshops. If you’re ready for some miracles of your own, please look around my website for more information about upcoming events, Life Coaching, and one-on-one Family Constellations sessions. It would be my great honor to support you on your journey of healing and wholeness.
To all of you moms and those who play the role of mother in a wide variety of ways…
Happy Mother’s Day!