I started going to a grief counseling program provided by Mercy Hospice of Cadillac a couple of weeks ago, to get some help with dealing with the loss of my husband Paul. The counselors are very kind and helpful, as are the people attending, who have suffered a loss such as mine. The following story provokes some food for thought.

The Story of the Butterfly

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go any further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily from the cocoon, but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute that the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, but neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand: the restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings so it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We will not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.

My son drove me to Grand Haven Saturday, where my children held a birthday party for me. All but three of my grandchildren were there, and all but two of my great grandchildren where there. If you go on Facebook, you can see the family picture taken by my grand-son-in-law Jeff. My second daughter put together a slide show for me and you can see that on Facebook too. We had a wonderful time.

We got a nice rain last night, and I am thankful for that. My flowers, planted by my oldest daughter, are growing nicely, but so are the weeds. That’s what happens when you hang bird feeders over your flower beds. Next year I will hang them further away from the deck and the flower beds.

The Luther Lioness Club will be sponsoring a blood drive starting at noon and running until 5:45 p.m. on Monday, August 26th, at the Luther Lions Building. If you have given blood in the past, you will be contacted by the Red Cross to schedule an appointment. If you do not get a call, feel free to call me and I will schedule you. Please remember to bring your photo I.D. or donor card to donate.

To donate, you must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on your height), and be in generally good health. With your help, we can meet our lifesaving goals.

This year will mark our 23rd year holding blood drives in Luther! We are all very proud of the fact that our little town has been able to meet our goals. When we first started having blood drives, the Red Cross told us we were too small to have a blood drive, and as you may have guessed, that’s all it took for us to work really hard to gather enough blood donors to meet our goal. The rest is history.

A little girl was sitting in her father’s lap as he read her a goodnight story. From time to time, she would take her eye’s off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. By and by she was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.

Finally she spoke, “Daddy, did God make you?” “Yes, sweetheart” he answered, “God made me a long time ago.” “Oh, she said, then “Daddy, did God make me too?” “Yes, indeed honey” he assured her. “God made you just a little while ago.” “Oh” she said.

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, “God’s getting better at it now, isn’t he?”

Have a great week.