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a butterfly garden

Updated on February 3, 2013

I was taking a walk the other day and I saw a butterfly. Then another. Then one more. Soon, I caught sight of what easily could have been 100 of them. A pretty awesome sight! Of course, I didn't have my camera with me. Not surprising as I'm not usually very good at remembering to bring it. I love butterflies. They are so graceful, often brightly colored and represent beauty and freedom in flight. They also represent so very much more. They are also a species that illustrates rapid change and development.

The Very Hungry caterpillar

Who doesn't know this engaging story by Eric Carle? What better illustration of life and change can you find?!

A Special Place

We were walking, my son and I at one of my favorite spots to walk, The Riparian Preserve. What a lovely place it is and has been the source of many of my poems, hubs and blogs. Some directly and some indirectly, just by offering me a relaxing place to clear my head, think or daydream. There is a special garden there that I discovered during one of my walks a couple of years ago. The Butterfly Garden. It has flowers and plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It doesn't get much lovelier than that even when you see the reason it was planted.

I didn't know Hannah or her family, but my heart breaks for them. I am a mother. I have suffered pregnancy loss, stillbirth and delivered prematurely. My life and personality have most definitely changed through these experiences. I am blessed I know, to have my 2 beautiful children but when I go to Hannah's garden, I mourn for her and my 3 babes who didn't make it. I love that this memorial is so vibrant and alive with butterflies, hunmmingbirds and other small wildlife. I love that there is some color in an otherwise fairly muted area. I love that this garden represents beauty, freedom. flight, growth and a sense of moving on. It is a positive force and has a way of rejuvenating me when I visit. A beautiful tribute for a life that was too, too short. For a whisper of a promise.

I choose... look at this beautiful place as a way to celebrate and remember the joy and promise of an unborn child. Our lives so full. Our joy so clear. I choose to remember what each of these lives, however short they were, have contributed to who we are. I go to the preserve often. I don't always stop in the Butterfly Garden and even when I do, I don't always feel sad. I lost 2 pregnancies, one at 5 months, the other at 4 months. But, I lost my Jake when I was 6 and a half months along. I delivered him, stillborn. I touched him. I kissed him. I told him good-bye. I still ache for my beautiful boy. I know there was a reason he was given to me. I just don't know what that reason is, yet. It has been 16 years but he will always remain my sweet, tiny baby boy. The garden helps me to remember. It also helps me to move on. It is a garden filled with life. Thriving.

For Jake

You were still a whisper

an elusive promise

of laughter, giggles, soft, wet kisses

You rolled inside me and I imagined

the day I'd hold you

in my arms, at my breast

taking endless pictures

trying to get you to smile

at the right time

I pictured

watching you sleep

You were a promise

of unconditional love

a source

of unending joy

You were mine for a time

so brief that

you never got to hear me call you by name

and I never got to feel your heartbeat

when it wasn't inside of me

You were a whisper

You were my whisper

Choosing life

When I go to the garden, I always read the plaque. Hannah's life should be remembered. When I walk away, I face the children's section of the preserve, the mini archeological di and the giant footprints. I see the picnic area and I watch life move on. I run to it, eager to join it. I have written aout the source of comfort this park has brought me. I would also like to share some poetry by one of our own hub community. Please check out these poems by Eiddwen. Come Sit by Me series. A very worthwhile, thought provoking and awe inspiring read! And just plain soothing!

A very sad update

Although I wrote this hub in October, i hadn't physically been to Hannah's Butterfly Garden since the summer. we went last week and I was in shock. The garden is a mess! Everything is dying, dead or overgrown. It was a sunday, so there was noone to ask. I'm not sure what happened or why. There is a possibility that they are moving it to another area. There is also a possibilty that they ran out of funding. I know that I am not done with this garden that has been a personal haven for me for the past four years. I will make an effort to find out what is happening and an effort to help restore the garden. Watch for updates!

a desolate garden
a desolate garden | Source


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    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, have just made my day....ah...maybe the week!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Tears are need to adjust your writing at all...this response is the appropriate one from reading excellent writing.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, catgypsy! It's funny, I didn't think of it as a hub, but......

    • catgypsy profile image


      6 years ago from the South

      btrbell, I agree. That's fascinating about the stray cat...would make a great hub!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for reading Kerry. Totally vappreciate the good vibes!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How beautiful...sending good vibes:) x

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Richard, thank you so much. I am honored to be your exception!

      @fpherj48..thank you from the bottom of my heart...I so appreciate your sentiments...we will never forget... Thank you for being here. Have an amazing week!

      Denise, didn't mean to set everyone to tears on a Monday morming. Thank you...for appreciating the importance of Jake in our lives. One of the things I didn't mention is that he is buried halfway across the world and the butterfly garden was the first place that helped me to find peace and feel near him. Thank you for reading, voting and caring!

      Susan, thank you so much. Sorry for the tears. I'll try to balance that out and go a little upbeat in my next series about Jake's grandmother!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your poem brought me to tears too. Such a beautiful poem.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      I'm in tears, this Monday morning. This was so touching. I've had a miscarriage and can only imagine the delivery and embrace that you gave to Jake. What a wonderful hub and tribute to The Whisper. I too have a place in my heart for the butterflies of the world. The plaque is an amazing honoring of a life that did not last on earth more than 24 hrs. Thank you for sharing. Voted Up/Beautiful. (sharing)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I am heart just aches. Your poem for Jake is so precious and moving......I am so sorry this happened to you. I understand the agony of loss......Wishing you Peace, Love and Butterflies.......they ARE lovely and delicate.............UP+++

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Randi -

      I'm sitting here still stunned at what I've read. The initial story and the heartbreak that ensued. Then, the poem was so intimate and beautiful. One can tell it is definitely from the heart, and what a tremendous heart it is. I rarely vote beautiful on hubs. This will be one of those exceptions.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, catgypsy, for reading and your wonderful comments. I believe that the many animals house spirits. When my father-in-law died, we acquired a stray cat with a hauntingly familiar personality! I am so sorry to hear about your mother but glad that you have the butterfly!

    • catgypsy profile image


      6 years ago from the South

      What a beautiful and touching hub. I have always believed that butterflies are spirits of those who have passed. Since my mom has passed I see a yellow one in my yard all the time, which wasn't there before. So sorry for your losses.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Leslie, thank you, thank you, thank you, so sweet. It is really crazy. I have only seen that many butterflies twice since I have lived here but I cherish those times. It makes me happy that you enjoyed it and shared it. I am humbled.

      @Martin. I want to go to your garden. Chocolate sounds perfect right about now! Thank you for visiting!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      @Perspycacious, thank you so much!

      @Carol, thank you so much! You are right, we have all faced adversities in our lives. What matters is how we move forward! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather!

      @Faith Reaper, oh my goodness, your amazing comments brought me to tears! It's funny, I doidn't sry when I wrote this but your validation and true caring, did me in. Yes, I believe that God is good and though I have stumbled, questioned and strayed, I have never failed to believe in his goodness! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much for this. I have my garden of memories where my butterfly dances through the chocolate flowers.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      lump in throat, omg - sooo touched! the butterfly garden is spectacular and i understand why you return to these places of peace and beauty!

      that heart wrenching tribute to that poor tragic baby - born and lost the same day - surrounded with such beauty - must be very, very moving! see one butterfly is lucky - to see so many of them is...a blessing - is the only word i can think of...

      sharing on, my friend!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Emily...thank you so much for readingand your heartfelt comments! Thank you also for sharing!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is amazing. Touched my heart until the very bottom. It is a wonderful hubs. Good work! Voted up and shared.


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      This exceptionally beautiful write just touched my heart so deeply. God bless you dear one, as I could not even imagine such loss. Beautiful butterflies all around, does remind one of the onging life we must persevere through, as we do all go through those trials and tribulations in this life. He tells us this very thing in His word, but He is there to see us through. This is just my beliefs. You have written so beautifully from your precious heart and it has blessed me so this morning. Voted Way Up In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Lovely thoughts here from Dewey to Mesa. I think that living has many painful moments, and no one gets through life without them. So the best way to deal with life is to enjoy it as much as we can. There is so much pleasure out there in nature and inside the house. Thanks for sharing all this.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Beautiful as a living butterfly!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Bill, thank you so much, my friend. Yes, it is late by you! I am honored. Always a pleasure to have you here. We all are faced with challenges at some point in our lives. As I stated on your hub, what's important is how we choose to deal with them. I for one, prefer not to wallow! Sweet dreams and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, that was beautiful.....and so helpful to those who have suffered a loss. I am, of course, sorry for the pain you have experienced, and I love the way you celebrate life now. Bravo my friend; this was a hub well-worth staying up to read. :)


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