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As Memorial Day approaches, butterfly haven is much more than just a garden for lepidopterous insects

Topeka Presbyterian Manor resident Kay Jones credits the idea of a butterfly garden to her daughter, who created one at her home in Lawrence. Through the natural beauty it provided, she began to think her mom and dad, along with other community residents, would enjoy something similar.

“That’s how the garden was born,” said Jones.

What was born out of a desire to make the Jones’ happy has evolved into something much more meaningful.

“We planted the first flowers on the Fourth of July in 2015,” Jones said. “It’s fitting because over time it’s become a memorial butterfly garden, dedicated to all those who’ve passed on, including Joyce.”

Joyce is Joyce Smith, a former resident who was killed tragically in a traffic accident.

Maintaining the Memorial Butterfly Garden is a team effort at Topeka Presbyterian Manor

The garden will be a popular destination for residents in the days leading up to Memorial Day. They’ll pause amid the quiet beauty of the spot while reflecting on the lives of those no longer with us, including the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation.

“It’s a meaningful place for many reasons,” said Christie Patrick, Topeka Presbyterian Manor’s executive director. “It’s a year-round reminder that we all carry on the legacies of those who came before us. That’s especially true around Memorial Day.”

Transformation

by Jo Pigg (resident)

There once was a caterpillar, as ugly as could be

Sadly, he thought, "Why did this happen to me?"

He kept to himself, not wanting to be seen

Thinking how unfair to him the world was mean

He hoped to be protected, so this is what he did

He wove a cocoon and there he kept himself hid

Inside that cocoon he thought he'd be forever wrapped

It never bothered him at all, from the world he was trapped

Inside his protection he wished that he could die

It was dark and dreary, he began wishing he could fly

Then suddenly, one day, that cocoon began to crack

He was so frightened and knew he could not go back

That cocoon opened up and much to his surprise

He'd turned into a butterfly right before his eyes

He straightened out his wings and gave them a try

He knew he looked beautiful as he soared into the sky

The moral of the story, about this there's no debate

Beautiful things can happen if you're willing to wait

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