The “Crystal” Chapter
On my way to Pat’s house to deliver the Woodpecker, I stopped for a night at the Harris household in Folsom, California. I got to know the Harris family when I crashed the memorial of their recently deceased grandmother and shared a number of teary-eyed drinks with their family.
Crystal was my good friend’s mom. Crystal and I connected at the memorial, at which she would half-joke that she was my mother in northern California. When I arrived, I immediately presented a print of the Butterfly to her as a thank you for the lodging. When she opened it up and looked at it, she began to cry and let the unfurled picture roll back up. Not sure how to react, I eventually put my arm around her. I thought that maybe butterflies had murdered their dog or represented some other horrible tragedy. But then she grabbed my hand, and with no words and only a few muted sobs, she led me upstairs. She only let my hand go to open a bedroom door. Inside was a bedroom full of butterflies and butterfly-related things. As I picked up small figurines and marveled at hanging strings of multi- colored butterflies, she explained to me how Grandma Dee always came to her in the form of a butterfly, even before she passed away. She told me that when she saw the picture of the Butterfly, she could instantly feel Grandma Dee. She opened up to me and shared why she needed that Butterfly, right then, at that point in her life. This art became the bridge that helped her cross an emotional river that she was unwilling to do on her own.