Sometimes when I see butterflies, I think of my stepmom. Well I guess I should say former stepmom. She used to say that a butterfly should actually be called a flutterby because that’s what they do…flutter by. I still call them flutterbies sometimes too.
There are other things that make me think of her as well. And it’s always a strange and confusing thing when that happens. On the one hand, I get really sad. On the other, I still get really mad. If I were a psychologist, I’d guess that the anger actually comes from the sadness.
The bottom line is that it hurts when someone walks out of your life without your permission. And sometimes it’s hard to understand. It’s been like four and a half years since she told my dad that she wanted a divorce. It’s probably been more than three since I’ve spoken to her. Yet she is the mother of my two half-brothers, so there will always be a connection, even if it’s not direct and even if she doesn’t want it. And of course there will always be the ten years they were married. The ten years when she was more than a stepmom, when she was a friend. The one I talked to in my earliest teen years about the stuff I didn’t want to talk to my mom about, the stuff that I thought she would understand better.
But ultimately she didn’t want to be in my life if she wasn’t going to be in my dad’s. I can understand that to a certain degree. I know that she knows how angry I was; I told her. But since then, I’ve held out an olive branch, and she hasn’t accepted. So I’m left to get over the anger, get over the sadness, and try to focus on the good that came from their marriage: my little brothers. It’s not always easy, but I’m getting there.
Sunday when I saw these flutterbies, I smiled.