Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Outside of one's relationships to family and close friends, most friendships are little more that fleeting acquaintances, ships passing by. If one's world is like a fragrant meadow, we would often be little more than butterflies visiting different flowers and occasionally scraping wings in pursuit of life’s nectars. But there are always favored flowers, petals that irresistibly invite, a kind smile and little compliment that brightens each day. If I were a butterfly, then it was I who over the last few years found myself frequently gravitating to a lovely flower named Magdalena Agosto. I always took the same path to the No Name Deli in hopes that I would catch her taking a break from her duties at the neighboring medical clinic, standing there with her cigarette, or eating a quick meal, or catching up on a page or two in her books, often fantasy romances. Maggie was from Puerto Rico, and she always called me Papi, and we chatted about books, children, and other topics that struck our fancy. She had a fairy’s laugh and always a twinkle in her eye, a devilish smile, and she almost always mentioned her daughter. She loved butterflies, and occasionally I would find something with one on it, or a piece of Puerto Rican painted pottery, and she was always delighted with them. I still remember how excited she was when I found spanish translations of the Twilight series. She was the same age as I am, and we connected. She never failed to put a smile on my face.

Today, one of the nurses came out from the clinic and told me that Maggie was gone. Aneurism. I am still struck dumb. It is amazing how such a small friendship, when it is gone, can leave a scar in the heart. I have felt like crying all day. I am going to miss her so much. A corner of my meadow has gone dark and it will be with heavy wings that I pass by it. I wish well to her family, her son and daughter, and grandchildren (I think there are two), and her many sisters and brothers. Descanse en paz, Maggie. This old butterfly will never forget you.


  1. I am sorry to hear that Jim. I have visited a big butterfly museum in Puerto Rico. The butterfly is a symbol of rebirth. One of them was all over me down by the river after I lost my mom.