Yellow Butterfly

By , Cupertino, CA

I was laying on the couch in the living room reading on the weekend of a warm sunny day. I had finished all of my school work so I had nothing to do but read. I was seven years old and I was a bit behind on reading. Usually I never read, I never have the time to do it. While I was in the middle of reading a page, my dad came into the room holding a blue card in his hand. He handed the card to me and said “Here sign this card for your great grandmother.” I grabbed a pen from a nearby table and wrote ‘Hope you feel better soon!’ Then signed my name on the bottom of the card.

My great grandmother was very sick, she was very old and was almost ninety years old. We usually call her tai tai as a nickname even though I have no idea what it means. She’s been in the hospital for a while not feeling well. She lives in Hawaii so I don’t get to see her very often and is usually very happy with a smile on her face. She had short, grey hair and is almost always wearing a dress with flowers on it. She’s been on a wheel chair for a few years now and is the only great grandparent me and my brother had left. I really hope she feels better soon.

A few days later, my brother and I were at our after school care doing homework. It was a very small after school care with very few kids. It was in a small brown building with lots of houses surrounding us. I was almost done with my homework until I looked out the window and saw my dad coming toward the door. It’s only 4:00, I thought, we still have another hour till he has to pick us up. He knocked on the door, and as soon as the teacher opened I could see him telling her something. My dad looked at me without smiling and said “Come on guys, we need to go.” said my dad in a very serious voice. My dad is usually happy and always making jokes but when he acts serious we know its not something to laugh about. He led us into his car and stayed quiet. “Where are we--” my brother tried to ask but got cut off by my dad. He took out his phone and dialed a number on his screen. We waited for a few seconds then someone voice came from the phone. “hello? Is anybody there?” I could tell it was my grandma, not my great grandma, just my grandma.


“Hi mom, Can we talk to tai tai?” said my dad.

“hello? Who is this?” said my great grandma.

“we just wanted to check on how you’re doing”

“I’m still not feeling that well but i’m doing good.”

“ok. He why don’t you talk to the kids” my dad said and handed my the phone.


We chatted for a bit then my dad took the phone back. After the call ended instead of going back to the after school care we just drove back home.

After I took a shower and ate dinner I was about to go to bed  until my parents told us to come into their room. “Tai tai just passed away.” said my dad “ So I will be going to Hawaii for her funeral while you stay home with your mother.” I could see his eyes were watery and I know he wanted to cry but was trying not to show it. Every year he would spend the whole summer at their house while they were out of school. That night I went to bed thinking about her.

Weeks later we were at the park watching my brothers baseball game with my grandma. It was a sunny day in fall with all the leaves on the trees had many colors of orange, yellow and brown. She was sitting next to me as we were watching the game. I could see her looking at me every so often, she probably knew that I was bored. I never liked watching baseball, I just thought it was boring. “You want to walk around with me?” She said with a big smile on her face, the same one as my great grandma. We got up from the stands and started walking together along the dirt path. As we were walking I saw a yellow butterfly fly around us. “I miss your tai tai very much” she said smiling. “She loved butterflies and her favorite color was yellow like the sun. I miss her, I miss her so much.” I could tell that she really meant it. “Every time I see a yellow butterfly I know that its her. It makes me feel like she’s still here.”






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