I Hope They Have Butterflies in Heaven

My husband was a man of endless curiosity. He wanted to know about everything, he was interested in everything. When our kids were young we started collecting butterflies and then beetles. We didn’t just collect bugs though. Mike read about habitat, location, food sources and we went looking for the rare and beautiful insects that weren’t easily collected. Everybody learned taxonomy on the fly and we referred to our insects by their scientific names. I learned to pin and spread butterflies and beetles and the kids learned to label each specimen. Our collection grew and grew.
In the last few years before he died Mike didn’t so much as swing a net, but he always pointed out the beautiful butterflies we saw in our backyard or along the road as we drove here and there. Now, on the other side I am sure he is as curious as ever, wanting to see and know and do everything. And I am sure there is work for him. But I don’t know if there are butterflies! I hope they have butterflies in heaven and he is still marveling at their beauty.
And strawberry ice cream. He loved strawberry ice cream! Maybe they have something equally good. I’m sure he’s in a beautiful place and even without strawberry ice cream there is still plenty to see and wonder at. Maybe it is so grand he doesn’t even think about a bowl of strawberry ice cream now and then! But butterflies? They must be there too!

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About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States"--Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico, Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and Cochise College in Nogales, Arizona. She and her husband travel extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, and have spent many summers in the remote highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala with their family. Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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