For post number two, I thought I’d share how sistabuttafly came to be. And I’m going to do it in a roundabout way.

My new husband, his teenage daughter and I moved into our new house about three months ago. Our renovations weren’t finished, but they weren’t terribly intrusive – we weren’t washing the dishes in the shower.

You know you’re getting close to the end of a renovation when the painter shows up. Our painter, Denise, is small but able and cuts a mean line. She sings along with her iPod and talks cutesy to our cats. On the few occasions when I’ve been home and she’s working, we’ve had some nice chats.

This week, she was buzzing away painting our foyer and hallways when I came in with a pile of boxes freshly shipped from Ikea. (I’m in the process of setting up a wee study for myself in a tiny but sunny upstairs room.) I continued on to the kitchen and got some lunch.

I was halfway through my sandwich when she came in and asked, “Is your last name Poirier?” I said it was. She asked, “Are you Blair’s sister?”

My older brother, Blair, passed away almost eight years ago. He was 34. He was doing something risky and stupid, and it cost him dearly. I might talk about that in more detail someday.

It turns out Blair’s ex-girlfriend is Denise’s cousin. Denise frequently stayed with Blair and her cousin. He’d been to Denise’s family’s home many times and attended her brother’s wedding.

“I’ve often wondered about you and your family, how you’re all doing,” Denise said, giving me a big hug. What an amazing connection. What a small world. And a complicated one, too.

A lot of days, what I wouldn’t give for the simplicity of being three years old again, playing in the sandbox with my big brother. The sandbox had our names painted on the sides. My side also had butterflies. I think Blair’s had tropical fish.

Blair couldn’t say my full name, Adèle-Marie, properly. It came out “Delaree.” And with the sandbox came “Delaree a butterfly.” In his early twenties, he started calling me butterfly and once programmed my number into his phone with the name sistabuttafly.

When he died, I knew I had to do something with that name. I thought about starting a freelance writing and personal training business and while I did get my PT certification and a little bit of writing work, I never found the time or the drive necessary to make that fly.

So here I am, sistabuttafly, writing for the sake of writing. I think Blair would like that.

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