If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember I returned to Facebook a couple of months ago, I wrote that post on how overwhelming I found it and I was very very very close to ending the Facebook relationship almost as quickly as it had been reignited. One thing I really liked upon returning to that old flame was the "On This Day" feature. Sometimes it makes me smile remembering long forgotten memories and at other times there's an unwelcome punch in the stomach with a memory I wish I could forget three times over.
However, I'm not writing a Facebook rant post again, I thought I'd pop the important / sentimental ones on the blog juuuuuuust in case Facebook and I go through another rough patch and decide that we were really never meant to be after all.
I've always had this thing for butterflies. For some reason when life gets really tough, not the tough where I can't deal with the Spanish Summer heat because oh my god why oh why is it so bloody hot?! Or the tough where I can't figure out how to take the strange glass cover off the ceiling light in my living room, so I live in darkness for a good six weeks until someone comes over that has magic powers and can do it for me. Or the kind where I can't decide what to wear because fashion meltdown and body shape change. There are no clothes so I stare at my wardrobe, which literally has nothing hanging in it anymore due to having tried allllll of the clothes on, discarded across the bed, on the floor and draped over the wardrobe doors. All dismissed with a scowl after pulling at clothes and turning this way and that. (Not that this has happened recently, at all...nope... nuhuh...)
The proper nitty gritty tough.
Anyway, when life gets really tough and I begin to question whether everything will be okay, I'll see a butterfly. It might fly past me, or I may see one on a student's top at work or on a poster on the back of a bus. Strangely enough it will usually happen in threes, and me being me, I take it as a sign that everything will be okay. I'm not a particularly religious person but I do have a thing for signs, symbols and meanings.
On the 11th of July 2013 I was struggling. The previous month I had found a tumor in my neck after a long stint of illness and I'd been in and out of hospital for tests and scans. On this day I was transferred to a different hospital where they were going to do much more invasive examinations to try and find out if the tumor was dangerous and why it was making me so ill.
That morning I can remember my sister getting really upset, she had been so strong throughout the doctor and hospital visits it shocked me to see her break down. I was very much in the mind set of whatever was wrong I would overcome it, that I hadn't stopped for a second to think that those close to me could be worrying about a different outcome. I plastered a smile on my face, and told her that she couldn't get rid of me that easily. I joked around and made her smile but a question began to niggle right at the back of my mind. What if...?
I sat outside on a chair waiting for the time to come to go to the hospital, as I sat there alone I began to worry a little more. "If only I could have a sign" I whispered to myself. "Anything will do! I just want to know that everything will be okay." I sat looking over the garden, watching the birds and the leaves sway in the breeze when a butterfly fluttered over and landed on my arm.
So many people will read this and thing bah! Pure coincidence. Maybe it was, but that morning it was the thing that lifted my spirits and gave me the strength to go into hospital for further tests. It gave me hope, and I guess in a way, it gave me faith that everything would be okay.
I'm not going to end this by saying "and everything was okay. The End." because it was far from okay, I had another year of hospital stays, test after test, an operation and a further year of recuperation to get through but sometimes you just need a little reassurance, even if it's from a coincidental flutterby passing by.