When you are seven and your Dad dies all of your classmates and future classmates will need to know what happened in order to feel adequately sorry for you. They will need to be saddened by your loss. It is the small price they will pay for your suffering.
You will be sure to impress upon them how close you were with your Dad so that they understand just how devastating your losing him really was. You will tell your friends you were “Daddy’s Little Girl” and they will know how special he was to you. And how special you were to him.
You will know this is a lie.
There is no such thing as a Daddy’s Little Girl in your family. There are too many kids and he tickled you all equally. But you miss your Dad and if you want to say you were his princess than you can and nobody will know because he’s gone and can’t tell them otherwise.
When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will one day be a fourth grader.
Your teacher will ask your class to choose encyclopedias and to pick two topics from your encyclopedias to present a report on. You will choose encyclopedias starting with the letters B and C and you will decide to teach the class about butterflies and Cancer. Two topics you feel most confident in presenting.
You will cover the process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly only after you show the class photos of your Dad post brain surgery. As the photos pass through each of your friends fingers they will ask about the stitches across his head and you will tell them that’s exactly where the doctors opened your Dad up in order to remove the cancer in his brain.
Though they never did get it all.
Did they know that Cancer could kill people?
Well they do now.
And just like the butterfly, your Dad too, was given wings.
A different kind.