Yesterday, you heard about our initial encounter with the wonderful team at the Butterfly Garden Inn. This morning I got the following message from the Owner Nichole:
As I sit here wiping the tears away, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of love and warmth. Meeting you yesterday was such a blessing. You and your husband are pillars of strength… You exemplify what loving parenting is all about. I am truly inspired by Justin’s story… What a gifted young man he was… A true angel. I know that you found your way to our little haven in the woods for a reason. Life is such a bizarre and magical journey. We have a butterfly lovescape in the center of our property where our guests can place a lovelock to commemorate their time with us. The locks have no keys, so they will remain on our butterfly forever. We would be honored if you would come back before you go so we can place a lock on our beautiful butterfly in Justin’s honor. We even have a turquoise one! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with me. I will forever be touched…
Since I can’t make this stuff up, you know after I received this note, Darrell and I had to quickly make our way back up the hill. Once we got there, we met Nichole’s cute and advanced young daughter, and husband Frank (the swimmer). Frank was as tall as Justin -so you know I had to look up with a pause as I shook and held on to his hand. We also met Mary,( her beloved Mother Linda’s best friend ), who made the trek cross county from Florida to spend the holiday with Nichole and her family. This was their way to keep up the family tradition during holidays despite the loss they too hold deeply in their hearts.
A few minutes after giving us a plate of freshly baked cookies, Nichole handed me a “turquoise” lock. She told us to think of a message and you know that was not hard to do. Within minutes, Frank carefully engraved the lock.
Nichole then led us out back to an open area in the surrounds of the cabins and she said: “Place it wherever you like.” She said she got the ideal from the Pont des Arts footbridge in Paris, France where Love locks have created spontaneous “lovescapes” in cities and towns around the world. The idea is that you and your love attach a lock, often with names or initials written on it, onto a bridge. You throw the keys into the river or canal as a sign that your love is eternal, never to be undone. She said that she met a local craftsman who made the butterfly trellis that supported the locks.
She also shared the depth of how they came to acquire such a lovely piece of property. Read the article:
As we said our goodbyes and headed out, I quickly remembered that Justin’s Aunt Caroline did a photo shoot near the lock she placed for Justin in Paris and his friends Kovi and Autumn and my friend Kathy all sent us pictures last year that were posted when they were there on vacation. I can make the quick trip to Arizona faster than I can to Paris so this is a good thing.
These are all signs that my love for Justin is eternal and will never be undone. My locks of love for him will always be held close to my heart. I feel good this night before Christmas 2014.
*** I know from an aesthetic point of view Justin is probably rolling his eyes because I added the luggage tag to the lock arrangement. Nichole said I could do whatever I wanted. So, Justin at least the tag matches the lock right???
Mom aka OTTO (Over the Top Olivia)
Some things never change…