Why The Butterfly?

I know it’s cliche to use a butterfly to symbolize growth and change; it’s a global symbol for the beauty and serenity that change can bring. Its dramatic metamorphosis from chubby larvae to fragile, free-flying work of art has been used countless times to evoke a feeling of maturity, independence, and undying hope amid rather incredulous circumstances.  It’s cliche to use a butterfly to symbolize growth and change, but it's for that last reason, 'undying hope', that I felt no other symbol would work for The Renewed Hope Initiative.  

The name partially gives it away, but there is another big reason which influenced my decision to use such a well-worn symbol for Renewed Hope.   My aunt was a three-time cancer survivor and, every time she needed chemotherapy, she used the butterfly to help her stay motivated and hopeful. While she was left vulnerable and scared for her future after being broken down to almost nothing from the only treatment that could keep her alive, she dreamed of the woman she could be afterward.  She rarely saw her dire circumstances as obstacles; they were opportunities for her to grow and become better. She let her faith in God- and the hope of a new day- be her cocoon, keeping her heart safe and strong until the day she could burst free from the grip of cancer and reach new heights in her life. Every time she went into remission from cancer her faith and hope, no longer needing to guard her, became the wings on which she rode the wind to the next place she was needed, only settling down for good in her final days out of necessity.

To say she was an inspirational or important figure in my life would be doing her a massive disservice.  Life still doesn’t feel ‘normal’ without her here; I know she’s here in spirit, but it’s different. She was always going to be a central figure to Renewed Hope, and since she’s gone, I can’t think of a better way than to use her symbol of hope for The RHI logo. With any luck I hope to spread her legacy, her undying hope, to those who need it most. 

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