Was the Butterfly an Angel in Disguise?
August 1999. My mother had died less than a month before. I had to take Daisy (not her real name), a young woman with autism, to visit her mother for Daisy's birthday party. Things weren't going well. We had to wait for Daisy's sister and her family, but they were running late. Daisy wasn't dealing well with the delay, screaming and stomping. We were out on the deck, and she had thrown a glass of lemonade onto the lawn. About this time, her mom got a call that the sister, already over an hour late, would be late another half hour.
Apart from the stress of dealing with Daisy's behavior, I was feeling the loss of my own mother and a little jealous that Daisy still had hers. In the midst of all this came a butterfly. It flitted onto the railing of the deck and landed, stretching its striped wings and oblivious to the human drama. I was mesmerized. Even Daisy stopped screaming. The butterfly fluttered over by Daisy's mom, resting on a vine near her head before heading toward the neighbor's yard.
Daisy's mother suddenly announced we would go ahead with the birthday party--we had waited long enough for Daisy's sister. Daisy went into the yard and brought in her glass. As we headed into the house, the butterfly returned, stopping so close to me that I could have touched it. I have loved butterflies since I was a little girl, and I was suddenly certain that my mother had sent this one to help me get through a difficult situation. My mother had believed very much in angels, and she collected them as well. I was skeptical until that day. I don't know if the butterfly was an angel in disguise or just an angelic gift, but the effect it had on all three of us was miraculous.
- Jenny Ann, winner of our Archangel Raphael book contest