Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Hines VA embraces the magic of Monarchs
According to Native American folklore, if anyone wants a wish to come true they must whisper their request to a butterfly. Since a butterfly can make no sound, it is unable to reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who sees and hears all.
So, it is appropriate that the Monarch butterfly has a calming effect and was recently used as a therapeutic recreation activity at Hines VA.
Cindy Hennessy is proud to be known as “The Butterfly Lady.” She has been making appearances and educating others for 10 years. She first visited Hines VA last July. The experience had such a positive impact on her she decided to revisit our local Veterans. “They’ve lived a lifetime and most have never touched a butterfly or had one hold on to them,” said Hennessy.
“It’s good to think about peaceful things rather than dwell on past horrible things. It makes me really happy,” said Veteran Michael Brock.
Mary Squeo, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Hines VA says the interaction with Monarchs allows Veterans to take their minds away from troubling thoughts or physical pain. “The butterflies bring them comfort and joy,” said Squeo.
Once Monarchs spreads its wings they are released. It will take them two months to migrate to Mexico. If the legend holds true, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and granted.