She was collecting butterflies. I remember looking through poster size sheets of art paper with her at Wisconsin Craft Supply, and she found one that was all Victorian butterfly illustrations. “You should definitely get that one,” I affirmed as she made the gut-wrenching choice between the tempting sheets of luscious color and texture she wanted and how much her meager budget allowed.
A few days after she died, I stood in her apartment, trying to absorb the total silence of her absence. Her finished work, propped against plain white walls, flimsy wicker bookshelves and chair legs, encircled the couch where she had last sat, painting. Finally, I saw what she had been making – a way out, a path to freedom and spirit transporting her further and further on wings of color and light.