Repairing Fractured Wings

Written by: Donita Brown

There once was a girl, so young and carefree. She longed to be amongst the butterflies and birds, soaring high, flying from place to place, and being engulfed in the crisp, clear air that was vast and promised freedom. Sadly, she was restricted to the ground, which consisted of her front yard and the top of her apple tree she often played in.

One day, while she was at school, she fell ill. For an entire week, she couldn’t eat. Her mother grew weary and worried about her daughter’s declining health. At first, she figured it was just a bug or a flu that was making its way around the children at school.

That little girl couldn’t move anymore. She couldn’t play, couldn’t run, and she couldn’t even walk on her own. She became weak and fragile. Her mother had no choice but to rush her to the hospital.

They kept the little girl for a while, leaving her mother outside to wallow in her worries. They returned after several hours, their eyes filled with sympathy and their voices void of any good news. They explained the situation loud enough for the little girl to hear. Her mother’s eyes were filled with tears as anguish consumed her. She fell to her knees as soon as the doctor uttered the word “cancer.”

The little girl was confused. What was this “cancer” the doctors were talking about? Why was her mother crying when they mentioned it? All she could do is lay back on the hospital bed, anxiously waiting to know why everyone was so upset.

Finally, her mother entered the room, a somber smile ghosting her lips. She sat beside her daughter and wrapped her arms around her shoulders tightly.

“Mommy, what’s cancer?” she simply asked. “Is it some kinda evil villain we gotta destroy?” Her mother gave a sad chuckle, amused and saddened by her daughter’s naivety.

“Well,” her mother began, “it is an evil villain, actually, but he’s in your body. All these tiny soldiers are inside you, trying their hardest to fight him off. The nice doctors are going to send in some medical troops for backup to help fight the evil cancer menace.”

The little girl giggled, flashing her mom a brave, toothy smile. All she could think about was an army of troops marching through her body, using their powers to help her heal.

As time went on, she remained in the hospital. Her enthusiasm of having the cancer villain defeated started to fade away. She was stuck in her bed, and her entertainment was limited to coloring, drawing and watching television. Her family and friends often came to visit and help cheer her up. She even had her kindergarten teacher come in to catch her up on all the work she’d been missing.

Days turned into weeks. Weeks into months. Months became a year. Before she knew it, her sixth birthday rolled around.

The little girl sat in her bed, drawing a picture of colorful butterflies soaring through the bright, blue skies. She longed more than ever to be among them. She often dreamed about having blue butterfly wings, fragile yet glorious, that would reflect the sunlight as she glided across the horizon.

Unfortunately, she was merely a caged creature, her wings wilted and torn. She desperately wanted freedom, and she waited for the day when her machines would be disconnected and that treacherous cancer would die.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Her mother peeked in, giving her a reassuring smile. Without a word, she walked in, along with several other people she knew and loved.

The little girl’s eyes lit up with surprise and absolute joy. She was surrounded by balloons covered in silver stars, colorfully wrapped presents, and even a large chocolate cake covered in bite-sized Snickers.

Her friends and family all gathered around the hospital bed, singing “Happy Birthday” and opening all her presents. She had a pretty nice haul. Several art supplies, stuffed animals, toy cars and dolls spilled out of her arms. For some reason, she wanted to blow out her candles last. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and whispered, “I wish I could beat the cancer so it can go away forever.” She blew out her candles as everyone gave her a giant, loving hug.

Slowly but surely, the little girl started to recover. The peach fuzz on her head started to grow out. She was no longer restricted to her machines, but she couldn’t be released just yet.

She made her way to the hospital garden, running with all the butterflies that passed through. She marveled and envied each and every one of them. She whispered to them all that someday, somehow, she’d be one of them. She’d fly alongside some of the most beautiful butterflies in existence. She promised herself that once her cancer was gone, she would find a way to soar, to travel, and to finally be free.

The day finally arrived when she was released from the hospital. The soldiers and troops prevailed. The horrid cancer was gone, and she was finally a freed creature. Her wings were no longer wilted. She slowly stepped outside her cage into the fresh outdoor air. A step became a hop, a hop became a leap, a leap became a sprint. All she could do was giggle.

Her mother watched on with a sincere grin, overjoyed that her daughter was able to soar once more.

I, myself, envy this little girl, for she had more passion about everything that I’ve ever had about anything within the last four years of my life. Perhaps, one day, I will revert back into this little girl, and soar once more with those glorious, free butterflies. Maybe then I’ll learn to appreciate the freedom I had to earn from being bedridden in that hospital for so long.

Maybe, one day, I can…

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