A Note From Heaven by Kelly Cavanaugh


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Featured in Digital Photography group – September 2009
Featured in Healing Through Art group – October 2009
502 views as of 5/10/10
1125 views as of 8/20/11

In August, 2007 my Mom was too sick to go out to her gardens to find monarch caterpillars as she had done in previous years. She had gotten a butterfly cage for herself and for the younger grandkids so they could watch the life cycle of a monarch. That year Mom insisted that each one of us watch this miracle take place, from a tiny caterpillar, to forming it’s chrysalis, to emerging into a beautiful monarch. It was incredible!

My sister, Rochelle, died in a car accident in 1995 and was buried in the cemetery just down the street from Mom and Dad’s house. Since Mom was too sick by the fall of 2007 to plant the pots at the cemetery, she asked that we find some pretty yellow mums to put down there. She didn’t want any other color. Yellow it was!

As weeks passed, Mom was sleeping a lot more and one of my sisters said that it was almost like Mom was going through the same thing a monarch does. Her body was transforming into something more beautiful.

Mom passed away October 17, 2007 from a very rare cancer, Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. She was buried on October 20th. While we were at the cemetery for the service, I was standing by one of the potted mums and a monarch came and landed on it! It opened and closed it’s wings several times before flying to the other mum. We were thrilled! None of us had seen a monarch for weeks as the majority of them migrate through Iowa in September. Without knowing it, I think Mom was trying to tell us to look for her on the yellow mums.

Since then I have had monarchs fly around me, so close I can hear their wings flutter. I’ve been able to put my finger out and have them crawl onto it. Whenever I see a monarch, I know that it’s Mom watching over me.

Featured in Digital Photography – September 2009


flower, music, texture, butterfly, layers, monarch, cosmo


  • Mukesh Srivastava
    Mukesh Srivastavaalmost 5 years ago

    Great work,Kelly!!!! Love this… Fav. too!!!!!

  • Thank you so much, Mukesh! :)

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • Steven  Siow
    Steven Siowalmost 5 years ago

    Excellent work Kelly.

  • Thank you very much!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • Veikko  Suikkanen
    Veikko Suikkanenalmost 5 years ago

    Really beautiful work Kelly! Well done!

  • Thank you, Veikko!!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • Kathy Reid
    Kathy Reidalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful work Kelly!

  • Thank you, Kathy!!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • Colleen Drew
    Colleen Drewalmost 5 years ago

    So beautiful and a wonderful tribute!!

  • Thank you so much, Colleen!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • lorilee
    lorileealmost 5 years ago


  • Thank you very much, Lorilee!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • DottieDees
    DottieDeesalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful work and lovely story of your Mom…I lost my Mom in Sept that same year….she would be very proud of this…I’m sure!

  • Thank you so much! Sorry for your loss.

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • DottieDees
    DottieDeesalmost 5 years ago

    Sorry, Kelly…I meant your mom would be very proud….but, it didn’t come out that way!! Also, thank you…

  • Len Bomba
    Len Bombaalmost 5 years ago

    A magnificent image and beautifully touching commentary to accompany it. I love Monarchs myself and really enjoy capturing them when they are in my area. From this point forward, I will think of this image and your story whenever I see a Monarch Butterfly. The loss of a parent is certainly a devastating, life changing event. It must be comforting to know your Mom is close by and watching over you. ~Len

  • Thank you so much, Len! I truly appreciate your comments!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

  • John44
    John44almost 5 years ago

    Kelly.. first off all.. the word note here is so nice.. had to smile..
    A butterfly (on) note(s) :-)
    Very well done on the MACRO part..

  • Thank you very much, John!

    – Kelly Cavanaugh

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