For quite a while now, we knew that we were going to lose my friend Jenny's husband, Peter... and our hearts were all breaking... but stubborn man that he was, he just kept hanging in there.
And part of me - part of all of us - thought that it would never happen.
But earlier in the week, Jen asked me to call her.... and she told me then, that they were bringing Pete home from the hospital, for the last time.
I cried after I got off the phone, and I immediately started pricing plane tickets to Australia, but no matter how we crunched the numbers or where we looked, the facts is, these weeks leading up to Christmas are definitely not the time to start looking for international flights. So I decided to try later. Closer to 'the time'.
Then this morning, I got a message from Jenny asking me to call, and even though I knew Pete was nearing his time, I fully expected her to tell me something funny that he had just said or done...
But all she said was:
"It's over, Katie"
"It's over, Katie"
I was too numb to say much of anything, and I know that she was having a hard time saying anything coherent too, so we cut the phone call short, with promises to call each other in a day or two.
So there I was, standing outside on the frozen deck at 7am in the morning, with the morning sky just beginning to lighten, phone still clutched in my hand, and with the tears falling, my mind just whirling and my heart breaking in two, because I wasn't there with my Jen and her family, where I needed to be.
Then something caught my eye...
It was a bright blue butterfly, swooping and darting around me in the icy air and half dark morning, and I said out loud,
"but it's the wrong time of the year for butterflies!"
And then I heard
"But not for Angels... it's never the wrong time for Angels."
Goodbye, Peter... we will always love you.