Posted by: ButterflyMoms | July 11, 2010

Honoring One of Our Beautiful ButterflyMoms Who Died Last Week…

Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

One of my FAVORITE yoga posses Child's Pose - "BALASANA" in Sanskrit "bala" is child and "asana" is pose.

Inspiration comes from the most simple (right in front of your nose places). Poetry…..when is the last time you ENJOYED a good poem, if ever. Not for a class or to impress but to simply take it in at whatever level you were at? I got a poem called WILD GEESE from the wonderful ButterflyMom Maureen Gormely who writes the UU Sherborn “Church” bulletin.  Doug grew up Lutheran and I grew up Catholic. When Sophia died we really struggled with the lack of community support around us. Our therapist suggested we go try the Unitarian Church in Sherborn, Massachusetts (UU Sherborn). That was almost four years ago and it has been an incredibly loving, safe, nurturing place where we can join with other like-minded people who believe in helping make our world a better place. It’s an amazing place because there it’s about human beings being kind to each other and working together for causes we believe in, both simple and big things like having gone down to New Orleans to help rebuild 10 times since it Katrina happened (about twice a year), creating temporary housing for people with no home, feeding the hungry, acknowledging teenagers. We also have an incredible community support so when someone is sick, or has a baby meals are provided for sometimes months. We received this AMAZING GIFT twice, when Isabella was born we had just adopted Olivia three months prior and then again when Doug had his life-threatening Vasculitis. It was an INCREDIBLE gift with no strings attached. They just showed up because we needed help. I also like that whatever your religious beliefs it does not matter there. You can believe whatever you want, even be an atheist!!! I lovingly call them the UN-CHURCH.;)  Again, just like with the yoga example above, I grew up VERY Catholic so when fear rears its ugly head, my brain whips out the “be careful this must be a cult”. And my brain was right! Oh ya baby, it’s a cult all right, The CULT OF LOVE!!! 😉

Our Beautiful Nancy Barton!!! She LIVED FULLY!


Yesterday was the memorial service for the gorgeous ButterflyMom Nancy Barton, 47, from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, who team taught with me at UU Sherborn. She is SUCH an incredible soul! Nancy was an example of angels living among us, people who are living their lives in LOVE. They use their full five senses and open heart as they live their lives. They soak in life completely and leave nothing on the table!!! Yesterday at Nancy’s memorial, UU Sherborn was sooooooooooo packed that people had to park several parking lots away. Some even drove back hours and hours from their vacations to honor her. I wish I could have been there. If you had known her, you would have ADORED her too! She has left behind two beautiful young daughters Meghan and Halley, wonderful husband Jeff, and a sea of family and friends with broken hearts. When I taught with her, she knew she was sick but never complained and only once casually mentioned that she even had cancer. It caught me off guard because I thought I had misheard what she said. Having cancer for her was just not the focus of her life, LIVING was!  Nancy was an accomplished artists, teacher and gardener. She brought art and creativity into everything she did. When you looked into her eyes she was ALL THERE, fully open to connecting on heart level. She appreciated everything down to the simplicity of her children’s giggles. When her kids were young and colicky resourceful Nancy would simply do laps around the house to get rid of her ICKIES. When she was getting one of her many chemo therapies Nancy met The Red Sox’s Big Papi and was so present that she even remembered what he smelled like. She used all her senses to live in the moment! She was one of those beautiful people who easily befriend everyone because she is full expression of LOVE! If you are living your life ungrounded and not present you would have totally missed her because she lived live in the most REAL and simple of ways. The time I spent with her was around children and she was wonderful at connecting with them. I am thankful for even the briefest of interactions we had. Nancy was the mom I aspire to be. I have her creativity but not her patience!  😉 I have stored the example of her life and love in my heart. It makes me a better person having had the honor of calling her my friend. We will miss you beautiful Nancy!

I pass on this beautiful poem from one of our ButterflyMoms, Maureen, TO YOU in memory of one of our very own ButterflyMoms, Nancy, who has left our Earth “game”.  May you take a moment to use your breath to take in where you are right now and honor her journey.  Even if you have never met you her essence reaches you even now. She is a gentle reminder that our time here is limited no matter who you are, what you own or how much you have accomplished. We all have an end. It’s what you do with your middle that counts. MAKE IT COUNT! Nancy soaked in every sweet part of her life. She left nothing unsaid and fully loved those around her (and let them love her). Read this one as slowly as you can. See if captures your imagination! I think Nancy would love that! 😉

Wild Geese 
You do not have to be good. 
You do not have to walk on your knees 
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. 
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves. 
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
Meanwhile the world goes on. 
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers. 
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again. 
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things. 

~ Mary Oliver

Nancy went to New Orleans to help rebuild!

Great big hugs,



PS If this blog feeds your soul please send it to friends. It’s less calories than chocolate and FREE!

PPS I’m thankful for you! Thanks for coming back every day to feed your soul!!!

PPS If you have a poem you want to share honoring Nancy’s life please post it here. I think she would be tickled pink that we all join together in this wonderful game of sharing poetry with each other!  Please share something even if you did not know Nancy. 🙂


  1. Great writing again Maria. You are phenomenal at what you do and who you are. Love you

  2. Nicely done.

  3. Thank you for your beautiful writing about Nancy. She was a friend and art teacher of mine and my children. After attending her memorial service yesterday, I learned so much more about her and am inspired by her love for life and those around her. I am wearing one of the pink bracelets that were given out at the reception following the service. It says “Be creative” and “Remember Nancy”. Not only will I remember Nancy but I will try each day to be better than the last, to be patient and kind and most of all loving to all. May a piece of Nancy’s spirit live on and on in each of us.

  4. A beautiful tribute Maria. It’s inspiring the read of Nancy’s focus on living without complaint in the midst of challenges. Thanks for sharing it. Thinking of you and all who loved her.

  5. Jsut this weekend I was thinking that we need to attend a different church, only because I feel that community support is so important.

  6. Thanks for sharing the news and thoughts. Nancy sounds especially special.

  7. Thank you Maria for making Nancy’s memory an inspiration for more people and letting more people know about our wonderful church community.

    With love,

  8. Beautifully done.
    Nancy is looking down very proud of you!
    Miss you!

  9. Thank you Maria for such a beautiful and touching tribute to Nancy Barton. Although I had had brief conversations with her beforehand, I and my daughter first spent time with her on Thanksgiving Day, 2 years ago, while she and her family were helping cook dinner for the first homeless family to be hosted by our church through the Interfaith Hospitality Network. I was so struck by her humbleness and kindness and that she had chosen, with her family, to spend her Thanksgiving Day in such a hospitable manner. I’ve never forgotten it, and was truly inspired by her life at her memorial service. Nancy was truly an amazing woman, living fully from the heart. I felt honored to have spent even a little bit of time with her, and have vowed to live my life more like hers….what a legacy to leave….FIERCE LOVE on all levels: mother, wife, friend, teacher of children and as one who truly lived the short time she was here….

  10. You are so real, Maria… thanks for the inspiration. I’m forwarding this to my sister who has cancer.

  11. It warms my heart to hear your words and learn about Nancy. Thanks for sharing. XXX

  12. What a wonderful tribute. The poem was chilling – so beautiful. Full of real life “meanwhile the world goes on.”

    It just so happens that we’re UU too.. I was raised Catholic too! We joined our church a couple of years ago now and LOVE it.

  13. Thank you Maria. I am Nancy’s sister and your words simply blessed my heart. 🙂 Thank you for sharing Nancy with so many…she would be touched. 🙂

    • Beautiful Jen,

      My heart goes out to you. I wrap you the most beautiful LOVE and gently remind you that the pain you are going through is temporary. The LOVE you and your sister had is REAL and unbreakable. Once the pain subsides you will begin feeling her all around you because they never leave. It’s just now the NEW “normal”. I hope you come back to ButterflyMoms to sip in the knowledge that will help you connect to your essence because that is where our LOVE lives, fully vibrant, that is what your beautiful Nancy, our beautiful Nancy touched in all of us. I am blessed to have known her!

      Great big hugs,

  14. That is so beautiful and so Nancy. I miss her. there was only one, she is so missed by all of us. Thank you for your BEAUTIFUL tribute. Bless you and yourn

  15. Hey Maria,
    I just saw this now and it was beautiful. Thanks so much for writing such a beuatiful tribute to my mom.

  16. […] Honoring One of Our Beautiful ButterflyMoms Who Died Last Week… July 2010 16 comments and 1 Like on […]

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