Butterflies are free

janice pockett 19Forty years ago seven year-old Janice Pockett set out on her bike on Rhodes Road in Tolland to collect a butterfly she had found down the street. Although she never returned home, her friends and family honored her memory Friday July 26 with sweet poignancy: releasing more than 40 butterflies into the air at the end of a ceremony in her honor at the Cross Farms Recreation Complex.

One of the butterflies  which was released at a ceremony dedicating a bench in memory of Janice Pockett,

One of the butterflies which was released at a ceremony dedicating a bench in memory of Janice Pockett,

 

Piper Couture, 10, of Ellington, whose mother, Carrie went to school with Mary Engelbrecht, Janice's sister, reaches out to a butterfly

Piper Couture, 10, of Ellington, whose mother, Carrie went to school with Mary Engelbrecht, Janice’s sister, reaches out to a butterfly

 

Michael Cook and daughter Riley, 1,.

Michael Cook and daughter Riley, 1.

 

The  bench at the ceremony honoring Janice Pockett.

The bench at the ceremony honoring Janice Pockett.

 

janice pockett

“She was a beautiful person,” Robin Pascarelli, her friend and classmate, said.

Janice Pockett's sister, Mary Engelbrecht, watches a butterfly rise into the air

Janice Pockett’s sister, Mary Engelbrecht, watches a butterfly rise into the air

 

When I arrived at the ceremony, about an hour early, I met a young woman who was looking at a butterfly on the ground. She explained that the committee to honor Janice had bought mail order butterflies to release after the ceremony but that they hadn't yet warmed up enough to fly. The butterfly on the ground was one of the "test" subjects to see if they had warmed sufficiently to take off. Not yet!

When I arrived at the ceremony, about an hour early, I met a young woman who was looking at a butterfly on the ground. She explained that the committee to honor Janice had bought mail order butterflies to release after the ceremony but that they hadn’t yet warmed up enough to fly. The butterfly on the ground was one of the “test” subjects to see if they had warmed sufficiently to take off. Not yet!

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