faith

The Yellow Butterfly

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butterfly

The Yellow Butterfly

By

Ursula Wong

 

In the dim light of a room that smelled of disinfectant, a priest I didn’t know murmured a prayer, his hand covering the yellow rosary beads entwined around Mom’s fingers. Her lifetime of prayer shouldn’t have led to this. Her diligence on sore knees should have stopped the inevitable from happening. But it hadn’t.

He asked if I needed anything. I shook my head.

“She was a lovely woman,” he said.

“You get sick and you die. That’s all there is. Faith is a waste. Prayer is for fools.”

I went to the window, raised the shades, and opened the sash. A yellow butterfly hovered over the ledge, just out of reach. When I stepped back, it flew inside.

I forgot my anger as I watched it circle the room and land on the rosary beads. Yellow had been Mom’s favorite color.

“I don’t believe in God or coincidence, but I’m beginning to believe in butterflies.”

“It’s a start,” said the priest.