Butterflies are a symbol of rebirth and renewal. A caterpillar, this weird looking bug, goes through a magnificent transformation, shedding everything that happened in its previous life, to become this delicate, graceful and truly stunning creature we call butterflies.
I love butterflies and all that they symbolize. I have a few butterfly tattoos on my back, with each representing something or someone important in my life. My fourth one is in the works as a tribute to my dad. I love butterfly art too. Before we had a house fire, I had paper mache butterflies hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom.
When I was in my sophomore year of college I hit the roommate lottery! I lived in a suite with two of the greatest suite mates imaginable, Melissa and Carolyn. We had were nothing alike at first. I was the girl who was more comfortable in pajamas than anything else. I liked WWE Wrestling, loud music and cursed like a sailor. My ability to string profanities together in a coherent sentence was matched only by my sarcasm and twisted humor. Carolyn was studying fine art. She was, and still is, incredibly talented Melissa was a music major, studying singing, and then switched her major to theatre. She had, and still has, one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Melissa's idea of cursing was saying words like "sugar" and "sugar honey iced tea" if she was really upset. The more we got to know each other the more we saw our similarities. No matter what kind of day either of us had, we could always come back to the suite and talk, laugh, dance, sing or cry it out over a pizza (green pepper pizza from the Owl's Nest was always the quickest way to make Melissa smile) or Belgian waffles in the cafeteria. We had fantastic adventures together, like driving to Chestertown, Maryland to see Melissa's boyfriend at his college, and getting back to North Philadelphia at 3 or 4 a.m. We weathered Hurricane Floyd together, and my suite mates laughed their asses off as I tried to make it across the street, in torrential rain and hurricane force winds, to the McDonald's to get us food since the cafeteria was closed due to the storm. Until that day I never realized how difficult opening a door really was. Together we learned the physics involved in shaking a bottle of Jamaican Hell Fire hot sauce, the trajectory of said hot sauce as it leaves the bottle that was not sealed as tightly as Melissa thought it was, and the arc pattern said hot sauce left on Melissa's pants and shirt. I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about that slow motion moment in the cafeteria. We were all laughing so hard we had tears pouring down our faces. The year I lived with Melissa and Carolyn was probably one of the best of my life. They helped me through some of the tough times, like when I was diagnosed with PTSD and attempted suicide. They rallied around me and made sure I was safe, cared for and loved. They stood with me when I spoke about being sexually abused as a child at my first Take Back the Night rally.
Melissa is still in the Philadelphia area with her husband - the very same guy we took our late night road trips to go see in Chestertown - and their two children...and #3 on the way. Carolyn is now an art teacher living in Florida with her wonderful husband. Carolyn has a store on Etsy to sell her beautiful art. I don't do this often, but if you are a fan of gorgeous butterfly art, I ask that you visit her Etsy store WiloTreePress via this link. Carolyn is so talented! I just want everyone to be able to see and share in her beautiful gift.