Sadly, I am bumping this old thread to let the forum know that Pat, my mother, passed away a few weeks ago after her own very difficult fight against cancer. Since she started this thread about her fond memories of her father and monarchs, I just wanted to add a few memories of my mother.
I was young at the time, but I think I remember the day my family found our first monarch caterpillar. Mom had an insect reference book that she was carrying around our back yard, and the family was turning over leaves in the garden to see what we could identify from the book. We quickly spotted the caterpillar, identified it, and kept it in hopes of raising it. After that, Mom was hooked! Soon she was collecting eggs, tagging new monarchs, and working on the beautiful gardens of Waystation #12.
We raised hundreds and hundreds of butterflies when I was a kid. I still remember how the caterpillars would bop their heads in unison when confronted with a loud noise. Caring for the monarchs was a great learning experience for me, my brother and my sister. And as you probably know, Mom also shared Monarch Watch with her parents and several of her friends.
After she passed away, we requested again that donations be sent to this organization, just as Mom did when her father passed. Monarch Watch has been a big part of our family for many years now, and it brought us (and especially Mom!) a lot of joy. I just wanted to stop by and thank everyone here for their part in keeping the program going, and for all of the happy memories you helped provide my mother and our family.