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Keeping Cindy’s Spirit Alive


“She played pickle ball for a year with an oxygen tank on her back. Nobody has ever seen that before.”

Cindy Asper was a mother—  lover— and a fighter.

“It’ll be two years ago this coming middle of August when Cindy went to heaven,” says Cindy’s husband, Nelson Asper.

She was diagnosed with leukemia and after a long fight— passed away in 2020.
After– her family and husband, Nelson Asper, started noticing they weren’t alone…

“Her last words were, do not let what’s happening to me stop you from having fun. And there was a monarch that met us there, and when we got home, the monarchs were at the house. After she passed, people were seeing monarchs and waving to them and saying ‘hi Cindy.'”

Nelson wanted to keep her spirit alive with a special gift.

“This will be a place of healing…My grandchildren planted those flowers, because I wanted them to have a connection. The garden is full of pollinating plants. It also has milkweed in it which every monarch has to have to survive.”

Located right behind the Traverse City District Library, in Hull Park, facing the Boardman Lake–
The garden is shaped just like a monarch butterfly.

“To me, The monarch butterfly exemplifies Cindy. Strong, beautiful, elegant. Cindy taking off over the lake, just seems like the right thing. Like a butterfly.”

Commemorating Cindy’s life…

“There’s a stone in here that exemplifies Cindy. It says, ‘Cindy says life‘s for living, loving, and laughing.’”

I asked Nelson, “Is that something she said often?” And he replied, “That’s how she lived her life. Cindy lived in the present. She enjoyed everything she did. She made everybody around her happy and better.”

But also as a beautiful reminder. Where it will soon be filled with a variety of flowers.

“I want them to teach their children about our environment, we have got to protect our pollinators, because we’re losing them. And if we lose our pollinators, we as human beings are gone from the earth,” says Asper.

To Nelson, the butterfly signifies life– in more ways than one.

“When I see a monarch butterfly I think of Cindy because to me Cindy’s the most beautiful woman there will ever be in this world.”