OKLAHOMA CITY - Change can be scary, but it comes whether we like it or not.
One Oklahoma woman has bravely faced a change she never expected.
Liz Marshall lost her nursing career due to Parkinson's Disease, but she found a new purpose, spending her days crafting and handing out beautiful paper butterflies to complete strangers to remind them that change brings new life.
Her kindness has earned her the title "The Butterfly Lady" around the metro.
On a very limited income, Liz buys expensive craft paper to bless those who always seem to need it most.
Liz says her butterflies always migrate to those who need them, such as a woman who Liz recently met in a grocery store aisle.
"She said, 'My husband died last week of pancreatic cancer. He told me when he got to the gates of Heaven, he would send me a sign.' And she stopped and she said, 'He loved butterflies,'" Liz told News 4.
Liz also met a security guard and felt the need to give him a butterfly.
"And as he held the butterfly in his hands, I watched his face begin to fall and his lips begin to quiver, tears rolled from his eyes," Liz said. "He said, 'I lost my son on a mountain in a far away country. He stepped on an IED and was killed instantly.'"
He told Liz that the last picture his son took was of a butterfly landing on his hand.
Last year, Liz met a woman named Kathy Rosino and an immediate friendship blossomed.
Kathy had recently lost her young niece, Shannon, to breast cancer at the age of 31, as well as her job, because Kathy is legally blind and only her peripheral vision remains.
"I was in deep, deep grief," Kathy said.
It was during this heartbreaking change that Liz fluttered into Kathy's life, teaching her how to make the beautifully-crafted paper butterflies, even with her limited vision.
"I put encouraging words on them like 'strength, love, hope,'" Kathy said.
Kathy nominated Liz for Pay It 4Ward for her generosity to the community, and set up a surprise with News 4's Heather Holeman and First Fidelity Bank's John Semcox.
They hid out in Kathy's house, waiting to surprise Liz with $400.
Liz can no longer drive, neither can Kathy, so Kathy arranged for her son to pick up Liz and bring her to Kathy's home.
Liz thought she was headed there to learn more about the crafting machine they use to cut out butterflies, and that a woman named Heather would be teaching them.
A car pulled into the driveway, so Kathy went out to greet Liz while Heather and John took their places in a back bedroom.
"Hey Heather, you want to come on in?" Kathy said.
And with that, Heather, John, and News 4 Photojournalist Mark Paris walked around the corner. "Hi, Liz!" Heather said.
"Oh no," said a stunned Liz.
"I'm not here to teach you how to operate a cricket machine. I'm here from Channel 4 because Kathy nominated you for Pay It 4Ward because of all you do with the butterflies, so we're here with First Fidelity Bank because she wants to give you a present for all of your generosity."
"Girl!" Liz said to Kathy.
Then, Kathy presented the $400, telling Liz, "You have changed my life, and I try to tell you as much as I can how much you mean to me, and I really, really think you deserve this. So, guess what you get to do? Buy more cricket paper! Do you know how much paper that's going to buy?"
Liz immediately responded with, "This will make more butterflies for the cancer center."
"See? She gives back!" said Kathy.
This Butterfly Lady has seen much unwanted change of her own.
She lost her nursing career when Parkinson's crept into her life 27 years ago.
"These butterflies, they're so much more than paper," Liz said. "It gave me hope and a sense of purpose again."
Liz never knew she was crafty and she never knew she could write.
She blogs and hopes to someday have a book published of all the stories of grateful strangers who seem to need her butterflies during their time of change.
As the saying goes, 'Without change, there would be no butterflies.'
Change can be scary, but it can also bring new beginnings, just like in Liz's life.
"Kathy, I love ya!" Liz said. "I wish you would've told me to put makeup on!"
Kathy responded with a hug and a kiss on Liz's forehead.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.