Butterfly

Forty three years ago, there were these two beautiful people who were going through a very difficult time in their lives.  Mary and Gerald were 16 and 18 years old and made what they called was a mistake.   They were pregnant and deciding whether or not to keep their future child or give her up for adoption.  Being devout Catholics meant for them that abortion was not an option.  I have talked with them some about this and the decision to give up their child did not come easily.  I think a lot of love and unselfishness went into the decision they made and that is why I believe so much good came from their decision.  The beautiful person they gave up for adoption at that time, was to eventually become my wife, the person in the middle at the top of my blog.  Had they not made the choice they did, I have no idea what my life would be like today.  I do not think I would be a teacher, nor would I have an educational blog.  In fact, in all honesty, I do not believe I would be alive, had I not met the beautiful woman in the lion dress 22 years ago.  The two boys at the top of the screen on either side of my wife would not exist and I have no doubt that my life would be absolutely 100% different if not for the decision those two people made 43 years ago.  I also believe the Children’s Museum of Montana would not be touching as many lives as it does, in fact, it might have already folded.  I know I would never have known so many North Dakotans if it wasn’t for that decision.  I hope I can thank them someday, somehow, and in some way for the decision they made.

I remember hearing a story a wise teacher use to tell.  It was about how a butterfly flapping its wings in the Indian Ocean could put events into action that would eventually cause a massive hurricane in the Pacific ocean.  I think Mary and Gerald’s story is an excellent example of what that wise teacher meant when he told the story of the butterfly flapping its wings.  I cannot even imagine the impacts tiny things I say or do with my students or other people in my life might have for very large numbers of people I will never ever meet.  I am going to make more of an effort to make those tiny things have a positive impact.

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2 Responses to “Butterfly”

  1. I love this. I want to know more about your wife’s parents. Did they eventually marry? If not, how did they happen to be together for a photo? I know it’s not the point…what a nice tribute to their great decision.

    • Yes…they ended up marrying. Joanie has two birth brothers and two birth sisters. They are all married and have kids…so our two sons have several North Dakotan cousins they have come to know very well over the course of their lives not to mention another set of Grandparents. It really is a very cool story.

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