The Adventures of Fancy Nature:Beauty, Butterflies and Freedom

The Adventures of Fancy Nature: Beauty Butterflies and Freedom]

By: Daniel K Gartlan
















Copyright 2016 by Daniel K Gartlan


Published by Daniel K Gartlan at Shakespir



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Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.]


Hebrews 13:2




Table of Contents

1. Morning

2. Caterpillar

[]3. Mandy

4. Cocoon

5. Fourteen Days

6. The Visit

7. Freedom

8. Mandy’s Last Journal Entry

9. The Gift of Memory

1. Morning


The brightness flashed across Fancy’s face as she rolled over in her bed. It caused her to come out of her slumber and force one eye open enough to see the sunshine sneaking into her room through an ever so slight gap in her curtain. With a grunt of disapproval, Fancy pulled the covers up over her head to cover her face and escape the unwanted intrusion into her sleep. With a sigh, she settled back into her groggy sleep but she already knew her night’s sleep was over and her new day was calling her to “rise and shine” as the old saying so aptly put it.


She struggled with the pull of the new day as she fought to stay in bed and find that sweet solace of sleep again. After all, it was Saturday and Saturday should be a sleep-in type of day. Especially since she had stayed up later than usual last night to enjoy a family movie night at the Greenlawn Drive-In Theater across town. She always enjoyed going to the drive-In with her family. They made it a point to do so once a month. There are not many drive-Ins left anymore and her parents made sure that she and her brother would have the experience of outdoor movies before they all disappeared completely. She enjoyed the time before the movie when they could play on the playground there and then, of course, sitting on a blanket on the grass and watching the movies were her special part of the whole experience. Just the sounds and the smells and being under the stars with family and friends brought an exhilaration to Fancy’s movie nights. Of course she also absolutely loved the sodas and popcorn and the delicious chili dogs they sold at the concessions. But…her favorite thing from the concessions was the freshly made funnel cakes sprinkled with white powdered sugar. She could eat ten of those by herself if her parents would let her. Hey, that’s an idea. That is what she will ask for as part of her next birthday celebrations. A drive-in night and all the funnel cakes she can eat!


With that brilliant thought, Fancy realized that once again her roving mind had brought her to the brink of being wide awake. She knew there was no way she would fall back asleep now. She might as well get up and see what lay in store for her on this new sunny day. Surely she was destined to stumble into some awesome adventure in her activities today. ‘Just as soon as I fill up my empty stomach’ she thought to herself while listening to the familiar growl of hunger. “It must have been all those thoughts of pigging out at the movies that make me so hungry already this morning,” Fancy said out loud.


Fancy threw the covers back and swung her legs over the side of the bed. With her feet on the floor, she stood up and threw her arms over her head as she stretched the sleepy night out of her body. With that completed, she took off her favorite nightshirt and put on a pair of shorts and a shirt. She chose a pair of comfortable sneakers because she was sure she was going to do important exploring stuff today. Fancy was known around the neighborhood as someone that loved nature and all that it had to show her. That was exactly who she was. She was always amazed at what she learned from nature and what it taught her about life. Of course, she had an eager culprit in all of this. Her best friend Daniel Curious. They were a team when it came to exploring and discovering. She knew that he was probably getting ready to find something to do on this Saturday morning and would gladly be a part of her adventures.


2. Caterpillar


Fancy was just finishing the last bite of her breakfast when the doorbell rang. She heard her mother opening the door and welcoming her friend Daniel. “Well, good morning Daniel. I guess you are here to see Fancy. She is in the kitchen having breakfast.” Daniel entered and with a quick “Good morning Mrs. Nature” he made his way to the kitchen and peeked his head around the corner. “Surprise!” he exclaimed. “I don’t know what the surprise would be Daniel. Seeing how I heard you ring the doorbell and you speaking to Mom, but I guess I could act surprised,” she said with a laugh.


“What are you planning on doing today? Do you want to hang with me and venture out into nature and all its wonderful sights and sounds?” Fancy inquired already knowing that is why Daniel stopped by. “Heck yeah,” Daniel answered right away. “I woke up this morning and thought about the butterfly eggs you noticed on your tree. Remember you promised me that we could keep a watch on the progress as the eggs reach the hatching point. Do you think they are getting close to hatching now?” Fancy stood up and gulped down the last swallow of her orange juice. She grabbed her plate and glass and rinsed them and put them in the dishwasher. “You know I forgot about those eggs. We should go to see if they are still there or if they have already hatched out into caterpillars. Come on Daniel Curious.” Fancy said in her best deep and serious voice as she grabbed him by his arm and lead him out into the back yard.


Walking to where the grassy part of the yard ended and the expansive forest started, Fancy and Daniel found the tree that had acted as a safe harbor for the eggs of a butterfly. “I believe this is the tree where we found the eggs,” she said to no one in particular. “Remember what we learned after we found them and researched about our discovery?” she asked Daniel.


“Well, for one thing, after asking your mother, we learned that they were eggs from a butterfly. I thought they looked like little dots or light-colored bumps on the underside of the leaf. I actually thought it was part of the leaf.” Daniel answered. “Yes. Then we found out that after about 10 days, for this type of butterfly, the eggs will hatch into caterpillars while some butterfly eggs will stay eggs through winter and hatch in spring.” Fancy added. “Let’s see if we can find the leaf and eggs.”


Fancy went to the low hanging branch that was loaded with leaves. Lifting it up a bit she had a good view of the undersides of the leaves. “Oh gosh,” she blurted out, “look what I see!” Daniel moved next to her to get a better look under the leaves and he too saw the same thing. It was a beautiful caterpillar and it was eating a leaf on the tree close to where the eggs had been. “Wow, now this IS nature at its best! Let’s go and learn what happens next,” she said, hoping the caterpillar would still be there when they came back.


“I have to go back home and clean my room,” Daniel informed Fancy. “I am sure you will update me on Nature’s plan for the caterpillar,” Daniel said as he headed to his house. “You know I will,” a waving Fancy answered Daniel. “I can’t wait to find out more about what happens next,” she added.


Fancy went out to check on the caterpillar in between doing her chores and reading about the life cycle of a caterpillar. She even decided to name it Freedom. After all, it seems from all she has learned that at some point it will go through another stage then yet another stage where it will become a butterfly. That means it will finally have wings and with wings, it will have freedom. Freedom as it flies away to start its own journey of life.


3. Mandy


Fancy couldn’t get to sleep that night. She was worried the caterpillar would be gone when she woke up. Her mother tried to reassure her that the caterpillar wouldn’t go too far away from the tree. It needed the leaves on the tree to survive. The caterpillar eats the leaves on the tree to live and grow until it is big enough and developed enough for the next stage of its life cycle. Fancy knew her mom wouldn’t lie to her but she was still nervous about the little caterpillar not being there. She tossed and turned with worry until she finally drifted off to sleep.


Fancy had a very restless night of sleep. She bounded out of bed and throwing off her PJ’s she slipped into her shorts. She stepped out of her bedroom with only one arm in her top and one shoe on. She was a sight to see as she was hopping through the house with one shoe on and the other shoe half on and half off in her hand. She finally had to stop and lean against a wall as she slipped the other shoe all the way on. Flying out the door, she made it to the tree before she even had her arm in the other sleeve. Taking a quick break she finished putting her shirt on correctly and took a deep breath.


Fancy looked for ‘Freedom’ but didn’t see her. She felt a lump in her throat as she frantically looked for her caterpillar. She was about to go from being frantic to sadness when she caught a glimpse of color moving in a cluster of leaves on another branch. Then she saw it. It was ‘Freedom’, the beautiful caterpillar. She felt a huge feeling of relief and gratitude knowing that the caterpillar was safe. Fancy suddenly realized that she was hungry. She headed back to the house to tell her mom and dad the good news and to get some food in her stomach. She had a busy day ahead of her and she would need the energy and strength that her breakfast would give her. Plus, after she ate she could go get Daniel and tell him all about what happens next in the life of ‘Freedom’ the caterpillar.


After finishing with breakfast and rinsing her dishes, she called out to her mother that she was going to Daniel’s house and would be back shortly. As she was stepping out of the front door she called out “Bye, I love you,” to her mother. “Love you too” echoed back to her from her mother. With that, Fancy stepped out onto the porch and closed the door behind her. She headed to Daniel’s house and was soon ringing the doorbell. “Well hello Fancy,” Mrs. Curious said while wiping her hands on the apron tied around her waist. “What brings you here this early in the morning?” “I am here to see that crazy son of yours,” Fancy replied with a smile and laughter twinkling in her eyes. “Oh, well Daniel is visiting Mandy but I am sure you would be welcome too,” Mrs. Curious informed Fancy. “Thanks,” Fancy said as she turned and ran to the sidewalk. Turning right, she started walking towards Mandy’s house while she listened to the tap, tap, tap, of a far off woodpecker.


The cadence of the woodpecker’s tapping drifted into the back of her mind as she allowed her thoughts to settle on Mandy. Mandy was different than most of the other kids her age. She’s very sick and has been in a wheelchair for a long time now. In fact, Fancy has a hard time remembering when she used to run and laugh and play like the other kids. Mandy used to be healthy years ago. She and Daniel and Fancy had always been good friends. They had been playmates since they were all babies and then moved on to being school mates. It was a few years ago that she got sick and found out she had cancer. At first, Fancy really didn’t see anything different with Mandy. She did slow down on the more active playing time and seemed tired more than she had before. As the weeks went by there were changes that Fancy and the others could actually see developing. She lost the pretty color in her face and her eyes had darker circles under them. She started losing weight and became weaker. She would tire out so quickly that eventually she ended up in a wheelchair. Mandy told the other kids that it was due to treatments she was receiving to fight her cancer. Now she stayed in her wheelchair and she had lost all of her hair.


Mandy seemed to adapt to each and every change that her illness brought to her. She was, in fact, a butterfly nut and loved all things about them. Her wheelchair was covered in painted butterflies and she called it her cocoon. Mandy was fond of saying that being in her wheelchair was just one stage of her life-cycle like a butterfly has. She considered this her cocoon cycle and that from here she would eventually develop into a majestic butterfly with wings and be able to fly away into freedom. That’s how Mandy was. Always upbeat and positive even when she knew that one day she would leave all of her family and friends behind and head to heaven. She had already been told that and she bravely accepted her fate.


Yet, Fancy saw in every phase and in all the changes amazing and beautiful features burst forth. Like the revealing of hidden beauty after Mandy’s hair loss. To cover her head, she began wearing a butterfly themed bandana. Fancy noticed right away that with the bandana on Mandy’s head it not only covered the distraction of baldness but it actually accentuates the amazing beautiful green of her eyes. Plus, it seemed to add color to Mandy’s skin making the natural beauty of her face stand out. Mandy had gone through a period of time when her cancer had made her look so pale and sickly that people tended to ignore the beautiful person that was still in her body.


Fancy smiled as she had the realization that even changes that are not so good lead us to see the beauty that has always been there but mostly overlooked. Or that sometimes those horrible changes bring to light amazing and beautiful parts of our beings and lives we have taken for granted. It was Mandy and her illness that has taught Fancy these things. Mandy has been so strong and such a blessing to be around even with her suffering. Fancy wondered if she would always remember Mandy after she was gone. She silently vowed to never, ever forget this dear and precious friend.


Fancy was so lost in her little world of self-conversation that she didn’t even see Daniel and Mandy approaching her at super wheelchair speed on the sidewalk. That is until she heard Daniel let out a loud warning. “Move over…Butterfly Girl coming through!” He was pushing the wheelchair as fast as he could and Mandy was aglow with a smile that lit up her face and showed her pretty smile. “Wee” Mandy squealed with delight. “Any faster and we will start to fly like a true butterfly.”


Jumping out of the way Fancy threw up her hand and shouted out…“Stop in the name of the law” while laughing at the sight of the two clowns as they both did their part to bring the racing butterfly chariot to a halt. Coming to a stop just in front of Fancy they both were laughing so hard that Fancy couldn’t stop her laughter. It was as if the laughing was contagious and just couldn’t be controlled by any amount of will power.


“I was just coming to see you two,” Fancy told Mandy and Daniel. Now that you have met me here we can go together and see the caterpillar that is in my tree.” “Is it still there?” Daniel asked Fancy. “Yes and as long as there are plenty of leaves for it to feed on it should remain on the tree where hopefully it will spin its cocoon,” Fancy answered in an excited tone.


“I wonder when that will happen. I sure would love to see that too,” Mandy chimed in. “I remember when we first saw the eggs on the leaf. Now it has changed to the caterpillar and maybe, just maybe, we will get to see it in the cocoon stage. That would all be so exciting to watch.”


“Well, the caterpillar stage only lasts about 10 days with this particular species. I am not sure how long it has been in the caterpillar stage already but it is pretty big which means it could build the cocoon any day now. Oh yeah, I named it Freedom because once it changes to a butterfly it will fly away into the world and have its own freedom.”


The three of them proceeded to Fancy’s yard and found the caterpillar lazily feasting on the plump green leaves. It surely was in no hurry to vacate this bountiful supply of food and that was just fine with the kids. It made it a whole lot easier for them to come back and observe it and all the changes it would go through before it left them and the cozy spot that was now its home.


Fancy, Daniel, and Mandy spent the next few hours talking and playing games while always making time to check on Freedom. With lunch approaching, they had to part ways. Fancy promised Mandy that she would come and get her as soon as the caterpillar wrapped itself up in the cocoon. “Do you promise? Do you pinky promise?” Mandy asked. “You know I do,” Fancy answered as she and Mandy did the pinky promise shake. “Well then, that makes it official and a promise you can’t break,” Mandy said as a big smile stretched across her face.


Mandy explained to Daniel and Fancy that she thought of her life as that of a butterfly. Her parents have always been upfront with her about her sickness and she was glad they had been. She knew that the doctors all have come to the conclusion that nothing else could be done for her. She saw her life as an equal to the life cycle of the butterfly. The first part was when she was born. Then came the time period as she grew bigger and stronger feeding off the love and nourishment supplied by her parents. Then the sickness came and she now makes believe that her wheelchair is her cocoon. Soon she will blossom into a beautiful butterfly and be released from her ‘cocoon’ and fly away to freedom. Fancy and Daniel were saddened by this but Mandy broke into her great big smile and told them not to hold feelings of sadness about her. She always wanted them to think happy thoughts about her and for her. Putting their hands together, one on top of the other, they counted one-two-three and throwing their hands up shouted “FREEDOM” as a type of vow to be happy for Mandy and her eventual release to freedom. Saying their goodbyes, Fancy went inside to eat while Daniel pushed Mandy back home and from there went to his house for lunch. They would see each other again possibly tomorrow but for now, they would spend the rest of the day with family.


4. Cocoon


It had been 5 days since Fancy and Daniel had seen Mandy. The last time that Daniel had gone to her house Mandy’s mom had told him that Mandy was not feeling well and had been confined to her bed for the last few days. She was asleep and really needed to be left to sleep as she was getting weaker by the day. Daniel expressed his concern and left with a feeling of sadness over the condition of his dear friend. He would surely say a prayer for her at bedtime. Maybe that would make a difference for her.


On this 5th day when Daniel made his trek to Fancy’s house he found her in the backyard at the “Butterfly” spot. She was super excited as she saw Daniel coming towards her. “Check this out,” she said to Daniel. He hurried to her side and she pointed out the sack hanging from a branch on the tree. “Look what our little caterpillar did while we were sleeping.”


Daniel looked at the amazing little sack that just a day before was a caterpillar crawling around and eating the leaves on the tree. “Cool, I am learning so much just from observing this whole process,” Daniel said. “First we noticed the egg on the bottom of the leaf. Then once the egg hatched, out came a little caterpillar that seemed to constantly eat and get bigger. A fluffy little beautiful caterpillar. Now that caterpillar has somehow become this hanging sack. What’s next?”


“I’m so glad you asked that question, Daniel Curious,” Fancy said. “Sit down here on the grass and let me tell you what I have learned about this part of the butterfly’s lifecycle.” Fancy sat down beside Daniel and with her eyes fixed on the new addition to the tree, she began explaining what she had learned about this fascinating creation of nature.


“What we have seen so far began with our discovery of the egg on the bottom of the leaf. The egg was laid by a female butterfly and began this amazing circle of life we are witnessing. The egg stayed protected as best as it could being laid on the underside of a leaf for that reason. The mother butterfly laid it there to help protect it from animals and insects that might want to harm it. This particular species was in the egg stage approximately 10 days before emerging as a caterpillar. That was the first miracle in this life journey. Upon being born into the world as a caterpillar, it ate almost continuously on the leaves of the host tree it was laid on. This constant eating allowed it to grow bigger and bigger. As it grew bigger it was shedding its skin as its body outgrew the skin. It did this multiple times until it had reached its full size as a caterpillar.”


Fancy stopped and took a deep breath as she lovingly stared at the cocoon. She was in deep thought as to what the butterfly would look like when it emerged. She really had no idea but she was using her imagination as she daydreamed about a beautiful blue butterfly flying off into the world. Or, it could be a black and red butterfly she thought. It could be just about any color and size. That is how amazing nature and creation is. With a slight smile slowly forming on her face Fancy imagined the end result of this journey.


“Hello….Earth to Fancy,” Daniel half shouted. Fancy jumped a bit as Daniel’s voice penetrated her world of silent thought. “What about this sack here?” Daniel asked. “Are you going to tell me about this big change and what I can expect next?” “Of course, I am, Daniel Curious or my name isn’t Fancy Nature,” she chuckled.


“During the night, this little fellow was busy getting ready for this stage of its lifecycle. This is called the pupa stage. He spun a silk string of sorts that attached him to the branch we see him on. He shed his skin for the 5th and last time as he formed himself into a pupa. The pupa is the sack we see now and is also known as a chrysalis. I like to call it a cocoon but that name is more for moths at this stage. This is the most interesting and amazing stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle. There is a lot of action going on inside this pupa sack as the caterpillar is changing completely in every way. It will form a new body and even wings. With this species, the pupa stage will last about 14 days and when there is about one day left before a butterfly emerges, the chrysalis skin becomes slightly transparent. At that time, we should be able to see wings and a body. So in other words, we really need to keep track of the days and check back here every day until we see that it is transparent. How exciting this is, to be able to follow this from the egg to where it is now! Let’s go see Mandy and find out when she can come and see this too.”


Fancy and Daniel decided to get on their bikes and head to Mandy’s house.” Daniel ran to his bike where it was laying in the grass. He bent down and jerked his bike up and while running and pushing his bike the first few feet he threw his right leg over his seat as he mounted the bike. “Try to keep up if you can,” had barely left Daniels lips when he saw Fancy blast past him peddling faster than he had ever seen her do before. “See ya later sucker,” Fancy shouted back with her special way of giggle speak as Daniel called it. Fancy’s curly hair was bouncing as the speed of her biking created a steady wave of air that seemed to make her hair come alive. “Sorry,” Fancy shouted to Ms. Adams, the mail lady, as she swerved to go around her. “Slow down Fancy,” Ms. Adams yelled back as she waved a handful of letters at Fancy as a warning. Fancy barely slowed down as she made a wide turn right onto the sidewalk leading up to Mandy’s front porch. Fancy jumped off her bike in a run as she laid the bike down on the ground. She bounced up the steps and onto the porch and was already knocking on the door when Daniel finally pulled up and stopped his bike. “Well hello slow poke,” Fancy greeted him.


Just then Mandy’s mom opened the front door. “Well hello, Fancy and Daniel. I’m afraid Mandy isn’t doing too well today. But, if you want to come in you can visit for a short time only. She gets tired extremely easy lately and is spending most of her time sleeping. Follow me to her room and let’s see if she is awake. I must let you know that she is looking really sickly and has lost even more weight than the last time you saw her. I hope it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable seeing her like that. Do you still want to go in her room and visit?” Fancy and Daniel looked at each other and both answered at the same time. “Yes.” Fancy looked at Mandy’s mom and explained that they had promised Mandy that as soon as the caterpillar had created it’s chrysalis they would let her know. “Do you think she will be able to come and see it?” Fancy asked. “I am afraid not at this time and probably not for a while. At least not until she gains some strength back. Come on in.”


Walking into Mandy’s room Fancy immediately felt a calm and loving presence. The room was dimly lit but she could see that Mandy had a few new posters on her wall. Of course, they were of beautiful butterflies. The pictures were a variety of so many different species. The amazing colors jumped out at anyone that took the time to observe these moments of butterfly life that had been captured on film. Even with all of the images, the item that captured Fancy’s attention was the huge lighted box frame on the wall. It contained hundreds of displayed butterflies. It was Mandy’s pride and joy. It had an amazing low glow that framed the box itself. It was just very nicely done and had a calming effect. Fancy recalled when Mandy first received the collection as a gift for Christmas. Mandy was so proud of it and she could sit and tell you the name of each butterfly in the collection. She so loved it and all the butterflies.


“Honey, you have some company here to visit.” Mandy opened her eyes and even though they were sunken deep into her face and had black circles around them, her eyes shone with the love and beauty that was who she was. Fancy was immediately put at ease and became very calm even though she was at first saddened by the condition of her dear friend. It was Mandy’s spirit of love that swept away that sadness and replaced it with a feeling of happiness. “We have some awesome news. The caterpillar is now in its pupa stage and is in its chrysalis.” Mandy strained to sit up higher in her bed and with her determined spirit, she pulled herself up a bit. Stopping to catch her breath, she smiled. Her eyes also lit up with a sparkle when the smile broke across her face and both Fancy and Daniel smiled back. Neither one of them consciously decided to smile, it was just the automatic reaction that happened when she shared her smile with them. Reaching out, she took Fancy’s hand in one of hers and Daniel’s in the other. Holding their hands, she quietly spoke. “I am so happy and thanks for coming to tell me. I just don’t think I can go see it today. I swear I will before it flies away to freedom as a butterfly. I just need to rest a bit more and gain back some strength. Then we will all go together and see it.” Mandy had just finished speaking when she closed her eyes and fell into a sleep.


Fancy and Daniel both gently removed her hands from theirs and placed them flat on the bed. Getting up, they said goodbye to a sleeping Mandy and with a stillness in their hearts they crept out of her room and eased the door shut. Finding Mandy’s mom in the kitchen they told her Mandy was sleeping and they thanked her for letting them see Mandy. “Please let us know how Mandy is doing,” Daniel said. “When she gets stronger maybe she can come and see the chrysalis before the butterfly emerges. It should be at least 14 days before the butterfly emerges. I know she would love to see it.” Mandy’s mother assured them that she would keep them informed and hopefully, it can be arranged to bring Mandy to see it.


Fancy and Daniel stepped outside and walked to their bikes. They were not in a competitive mood now and they both decided to walk and push their bikes. The conversation turned to Mandy and Fancy spoke about how even though she was so different now from the disease she was still so special and beautiful. The intensity of her smile and eyes stood out so much more and Fancy felt like it was Mandy’s true self. Her spirit that lives within her. She was a special friend indeed. Daniel agreed and they both agreed to say a little prayer for her at bedtime.


Saying their goodbyes they parted ways as Daniel went to his house and Fancy continued on to her house. They both did say a prayer for their dear friend that night and Fancy decided that it made her feel better so it must have some kind of effect on Mandy too. She drifted off to sleep still thinking about Mandy and her smile.


5. Fourteen Days


Fancy put an X across the date on the calendar as she counted a total of thirteen she had marked. She had started tracking the time on the day she discovered the caterpillar as a chrysalis. By doing that, she could see how long before it emerged as a butterfly. She was getting more excited as each new day came. She knew the change could happen at any time now. It would happen on Nature’s time and Nature knows best but she was betting that it would be today or tomorrow. Fancy knew that soon the chrysalis would become slightly transparent and that would be a signal that a new butterfly would soon enter the world. It would also be the sign to tell Mandy that the time was near. She sure was hoping that Mandy would be able to come and see the miracle as it was happening. Mandy had gotten a lot worse in the last thirteen days and, in fact, had not even been strong enough to come and see the chrysalis. She was now on oxygen all the time and could not even get out of bed without help.


Fancy had breakfast and went to her room to make the bed and straighten up her room. Even though Fancy really dislikes this part of her day she knows that rules are rules and she cannot go out and explore until she has her chores completed.


After putting everything in its place and making her bed, Fancy looked around her room and was pleased with how clean it looked. Sitting on the edge of her bed her mind drifted to Mandy and how much she wanted to see the chrysalis and the butterfly. She felt sad that Mandy was so much sicker now. “I sure hope Mandy can come and experience this with me,” she spoke out loud to herself.


Fancy didn’t have long to be sad as she realized that her chores were finished and that she could now head outside and check on the soon-to-be butterfly. First, she must tell her mother that she was done and her room looked spotless. Walking out of her room she saw her mother in the hallway. “I believe I have the cleanest room in the house now so may I go outside and start the fun part of my day?” “Well dear, I have no doubt that you are telling me the truth so yes, you can head out but be careful and let me know if you leave the yard.” Fancy looked at her mom and with her hands perched sassily on her hips she rolled her eyes and told her mom that she would be careful and all that other stuff too.


Fancy half ran out the door into the backyard and to the tree to observe the magic package that was about to pop out a butterfly. As soon as she laid her eyes on it, she squealed with delight. “It’s time. I can see the wings and body of the butterfly. This means that the butterfly should emerge within a day or so.” Fancy realized she was talking to herself but she didn’t care because she was really talking to the whole world. She was just sharing her excitement. As soon as that thought came another one pushed it away and filled her mind. One of greater importance for sure. “Oh my…I have to tell Daniel and Mandy.” With a rush of energy coursing through her, she ran into her house to tell her mom and dad the great news. “I need to go tell Daniel and Mandy if that’s OK with you,” Fancy said to her mother. “I guess so, but be careful and hurry back.”


Fancy was so excited that she rushed out the door and headed to Daniel’s house without even saying goodbye. She knew that time was slipping away and that the coming out could happen any minute. In fact, she was afraid that it would happen while she was gone, but that was a chance she had to take. There was no way she was going to experience this by herself. Sure she could have called her two friends to break the news but this was news of utmost importance. She felt that the news was so important that it should only be delivered in person. Fancy was running as fast as she could but she thought that she had never taken this long to get to Daniel’s house. It was like time had slowed down and her exciting news would cause her to explode if she didn’t tell Daniel soon. Plus, she was super excited to be able to tell Mandy and that meant the sooner she got to Daniel’s house then the sooner they both could share the news with Mandy.


Fancy’s mind was overloaded with exciting thoughts causing her already vivid imagination to run wild. She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she didn’t realize she was at Daniel’s house until he called out to her. “Whoa Fancy. Where are you going in such a hurry?” She looked around and realized she had been running right past his house. Fancy stopped for a minute then ran up to Daniel. “Daniel…..it’s almost time,” she screamed out as she grabbed his shoulders and shook him. “We have to go tell Mandy then get back to my house. I wouldn’t want to miss the “Grand Entrance” the butterfly is about to make.” Daniel shook his head in agreement as he told Fancy to head on over to Mandy’s while he runs inside to let his mom know he was going too. “I’ll catch up with you at Mandy’s so just wait outside of her house for me because I want to see her smile when she gets the news.” With that agreed upon, Fancy took off towards Mandy’s as she waved goodbye to Daniel. Daniel didn’t see her wave though because he was already up the front steps and in the house. In just a few minutes he was pushing the front screen door open and out of his way and leaping down the stairs to head to Mandy’s.


Daniel and Fancy both were on a mission to inform Mandy about the butterfly and to try to bring some joy into her day. They both knew that she had started getting weaker and sicker by the day. If they could help her in any way to have a good day then they certainly wanted to do so. Daniel finally saw Mandy’s house, and Fancy was in the front yard waiting as they had agreed on. She was bent over with her hands on her knees trying to catch her breath. Daniel laughed when he got to her as he teasingly told her she was a lightweight. “If you had run as far and fast as I have just now you would be breathing hard too, you dork,” Mandy replied with a giggle in her voice. Let’s go and tell Mandy the great news.”


Mandy’s mom was trying to rearrange Mandy in her bed to make her more comfortable when she heard the knock on the door. Most of Mandy’s days were spent sleeping and being sick when she was awake. The worry was obvious on her mom’s face as she finished repositioning her and pulling the cover up to her neck. Bending down to kiss Mandy’s forehead she spoke softly. “I’ll be back in just a bit. I need to see who is at the door. Rest some and I’ll bring fresh water for you.” Mandy wasn’t even awake but her mom spoke anyway to let her know she was there for her. Quietly slipping out of the room and closing the door she headed downstairs to answer the door.


Mandy’s mother opened the door to find Fancy and Daniel standing on the porch wearing big smiles. The sight brought a smile to her face for just a moment. It felt so good to feel a spark of joy again. She had a flash of memory of a time when Mandy always seemed so happy and wore a beautiful smile on her face. Everyone said she had a smile just like her mom and that always made both of them very proud. Her mom missed that smile and those happy carefree days so very much.


The first thing that Fancy noticed was that Mandy’s mom looked so tired. She looked tired and sad. “Well, hello Fancy and Daniel. What brings you here on this day?” Fancy thought a minute before she spoke up. “We have some news for Mandy but we should have called first to see if this is a good time to come and see her.” Daniel shook his head in agreement as he realized things must be worse with Mandy than they thought. It was obvious from her mother’s face. “Well now, what is this news you speak of?” “It is almost time for the butterfly to emerge and fly away and we promised Mandy we would tell her. She wants to come see it with us. If this is not a good time then please tell Mandy the news for us.” Mandy’s mother took a deep breath and sighed. She motioned for them to come in. “Mandy has not been doing well and in fact, she is usually sleeping. She hardly speaks anymore but I know she loves it when I read to her. She is such a brave and strong girl but she is no longer able to fight off her cancer. I haven’t seen her smile in days so I think you two should deliver the news to her. Don’t be shocked when you see her. She is very sick and she looks sick so keep that in mind. Come and let’s see if she will wake up enough so that you can tell her. I don’t think she will be able to go and see it, though. She just isn’t physically able anymore.”


They followed Mandy’s mom to the bedroom and she slowly opened the door to reveal a darkened room. As they stepped into the room they could hear the hum of the oxygen machine that was working day and night to give her the pure oxygen she needed. Walking over to the bed her mother laid her hand on her arm and gently shook her. “You have some visitors here that have some news for you. Mandy honey, are you awake?” Mandy groaned as she slowly opened her eyes to see Fancy and Daniel standing by her. “Hello Mandy”, Daniel spoke up first. “Daniel and Fancy?” Mandy said in a voice barely more than a whisper. “I’m sorry but I can’t go dancing tonight with this crazy oxygen thingy attached,” she said while forcing a little chuckle and smile. “Well, we all know Daniel can’t dance with or without an oxygen thingy attached but that is not why we are here,” Fancy replied. “What Fancy is trying to say is that it is about time for the birth of our butterfly. The chrysalis is transparent enough to see the body and wings. That means that any time now the butterfly should emerge and after a few minutes to allow its wings to dry, it will flap its wings and fly away.” Daniel and I really wanted to let you know and was hoping that you could come and see it.” Mandy was more awake now. She smiled at the realization that she still meant that much to these two wonderful friends. With her eyes sparkling with beauty and love she spoke softly, “I am so excited and thank you so much for telling me the news. I do want to come and see this miracle, but I am afraid mom and dad may not allow it. They have the silly notion that I am too sick and weak. I’m not quite sure why they think that.” Mandy winked at them as she finished speaking. “I am sure you both can send a few thoughts my way when the time comes and you watch the butterfly fly away.” “You know we will Mandy and as soon as you are feeling better you can come and play with us and we will tell you all about it. Right, Daniel?” “Yes, we will.”


Mandy shifted uncomfortably in her bed as her mom spoke up, “I think Mandy needs to rest a bit now. But, we both are so glad you stopped by and that you remember to keep Mandy in your thoughts.” With that, Daniel and Fancy both said good-bye and Mandy’s mom walked them out of the room and pulled the door almost closed behind them. “Thanks so very much for being such wonderful friends and for never turning your back on Mandy. It helps her so much to know that she has such true friends that are always here for her.”


Fancy and Daniel left Mandy’s house that day so very thankful for Mandy. They were determined to see this butterfly journey through all the way to the fly-away phase. That was the least they could do for Mandy. Maybe they could take a few pictures and show Mandy. That would be something special to give her. With those decisions made they each headed to their respective homes with the agreement that Fancy would keep a constant vigil on the chrysalis and sound the alarm as soon as she saw any new activity. “See you later alligator dude,” Fancy said to Daniel as they parted ways. “After while Crocodile chick,” Daniel replied. “I’ll update you later today on the butterfly,” Fancy shouted back to Daniel as she put more distance between them. Daniel stood in his yard and watched as Fancy disappeared, but he had a feeling that he would be hearing from her sooner than later.


6. The Visit


Fancy sat with her mom and dad at the kitchen table and indulged in some chicken nuggets and fries. She spoke up as she dipped her French fry into some ketchup, but not really even with an intention of eating it. She was thinking about her friend Mandy as she told her parents that she was sad and worried about Mandy. “She is so sick that she is not even able to come and see the chrysalis. We all know how much she wanted to experience all of this too. I’m afraid that Daniel and I will have to do so without our dear friend. I know there is nothing we can do about her sickness, but it does sadden me.” Her mom and dad glanced at each other before her dad spoke up. “Fancy, your mom and I want you to know that whatever you are feeling is normal and speaks highly of the friend you are to Mandy. I hope we did enough in explaining to you about her sickness and her eventual release from her pain and suffering. You must know that we are here and always will be here for you. Death and loss of a loved one and friend are never easy. It will affect you in a strong way, but you can always let it be a strong, good way.” How can it be a good way?” Fancy asked. “I think if you try very hard to remember her as the amazing and upbeat person she is and of all the good memories you have shared, then maybe that will be a good way. Let her life be a blessing in your life, even when she is no longer here with us. Learn from her life and how she handled herself even in her darkest moments of doubt and fear. She was always a pleasure to be around and she never lost her faith in her God. She can and should be a guiding light in your life….always. Once you get older you will look back and realize that she was one of the most special beings you ever had in your life. Rejoice in that.”


“I suppose you are right, but for now, I just want to be sad. Is that selfish of me? I mean, I have such a good life and I am healthy and able to run and play and yet I want to feel sad.” Fancy’s mom stood up and walked around the table to Fancy. She reached out and wrapped her arms around Fancy drawing her into the comfort of her body as she held her. “Sadness is natural and there is nothing selfish about being sad at times like these. You know that we are here for you and no matter what, you can come to us if this sadness seems overwhelming.” Fancy looked up at her mother and grinned. “I know that Mom,” she said quietly. Thanks for your help in dealing with this. I guess I need to finish eating and get back to observing my little butterfly….Freedom.”


Fancy’s appetite came back as she realized that she was hungry and would need a full stomach to complete her mission of this scientific type of observation. She surely didn’t want any distraction, like a growling hungry stomach, during this very important phase of the butterfly’s life cycle. She was in her hurry up mode as she began stuffing her fries into her mouth. “Whoa now, little miss. Slow down, please. You know the eating rule.” her mother gently admonished her. “Yes, I will slow down and chew each bite properly and slowly Mother dear. I was just worried that I had wasted too much time already and that I need to get back to my chrysalis. Maybe it would be alright if I only slowed down a wee bit. You know, not too fast, but not too slow,” Fancy said as she smiled her little sly smile at her mom. “Oh, I suppose it would be OK as long as you eat everything on your plate.”


Fancy was just wiping up what was left of her ketchup with her last chicken nugget when Daniel knocked on her back door. “I’ll get it, Mom,” Fancy said as she stood up and gulped down the last sip of her drink. Her mom looked over her shoulder as she was rinsing a plate in the sink. “It’s Daniel dear. I saw him ride up on his bike. He must be as excited as you are. Go ahead outside with him. I will clear your spot at the table.” Fancy skipped towards the back door and as she opened it and stepped halfway out she turned to her mother. “Thanks, you are the best!” she exclaimed.


With that, she was out the door and playfully punched Daniel in his right arm. “You can’t seem to stay away Daniel. Is it me or do you just want to torture me by being annoying?” Daniel grimaced and grabbed his arm. “Oh please, I felt sorry for you and thought maybe I could make your day by coming here again.” By the time he was finishing his sentence, Fancy was trotting away towards the tree and the chrysalis. “Geez Fancy. You could, at least, act like you were paying attention to me.” Daniel shook his head and frowned as he smiled deep inside himself just thinking about his best friend, Fancy. It seemed she was always a step ahead of him. There was never a dull moment with her. That is for sure. She was so carefree, but so smart too. “You watch Fancy. You’ll see that one day I will pay you back for treating me so horribly,” Daniel called out to her while laughing about what he just said. He knew that she really never treated him or anyone else horribly, but he like to play the part of her victim of maltreatment. It was their inside joke. Their way of playfully taking jabs at each other. “You love it and you know it Daniel Curious. So don’t threaten me. Plus, you will never, ever be able to live with yourself if you treat me mean.” Fancy had been already by the tree and as Daniel walked up to her she placed her hands on his shoulders and looked squarely in his eyes. “Just look at me, Daniel. How could you ever be mean to me?” Fancy asked as she put on her best little puppy dog, sad eyes, face. “Why do you have to do that to me, Fancy? Every time I try to be tough and gruff with you…..” his voice was trailing off as he was trying to come up with the right words when Fancy let out a scream. Daniel shrank away from the sound he knew so well. He called it Fancy’s ‘Happy Shriek’ and it was her vocal signal of something joyous and exciting. Before Daniel had a chance to shake away the ringing in his ears, Fancy shouted….“Mandy, You came”.


Daniel seemed to be too slow to react as fast as Fancy as she ran past him and right up to Mandy. By the time Daniel lost sight of Fancy out of the corner of his eye, he finally absorbed what was happening. Turning around, he saw Mandy and her mother. Mandy was in her butterfly decorated wheelchair. She had a blanket draped over her lap and she had a small oxygen tank with her. The wheelchair seemed to overwhelm her tiny body. She appeared to have shrunk in size since the last time they saw her. It was obvious that her shoulders were both slumped forward, making her look smaller than she was. Her eyes were rimmed with dark circles and her face had very little color. None of that seemed to matter to Fancy or Daniel. Her bright colored butterfly print bandana was wrapped around her head and her eyes themselves had a sparkle to them that just made Fancy and Daniel forget about the fact that she was extremely sick. As Daniel made it to the side of the wheelchair Mandy smiled her huge smile. “Hey, you two, “ came out of her mouth but was barely loud enough to be heard.


“Mandy was determined to come here so you can show her the soon-to-be butterfly. I had my doubts about her being able to handle this but she insisted. So here we are.” Fancy ran to the back of the wheelchair and grabbed the handles as Mandy’s mom stepped back. “Let’s go,” she said as she pushed Mandy towards the tree where the chrysalis was. As they stopped at the tree Mandy saw the cocoon. “Wow,” Mandy exclaimed as her eyes seemed to widen into huge circles. “I can see the body and wings”. She straightened up in her seat as her body posture showed her excitement. “Wow,” she said again under her breath. “It is so beautiful.” Her whole body just seemed to relax and to Fancy and Daniel, it looked as if she just shrank back into her wheelchair. Once again, she looked so small. It was as if she was swallowed up by her wheelchair. It wasn’t a bad thing, though. No, not at all. Mandy appeared to fall into a comfortable position as if her wheelchair was her protection from the world. She looked so tired but had a happiness that you could see beaming out from her face. It was hard to describe, but it was easy to see and Fancy and Daniel both were taken in by the radiant smile of Mandy’s.


They all three sat around for hours just talking. Fancy and Daniel had each found a comfortable spot on either side of Mandy and they sat on the grass and talked and laughed the time away. Mandy was getting weaker and more tired as the time ticked away. She admitted that she didn’t really want to leave, though she knew she would have to soon. It was soon after she finished talking that her mother and Fancy’s mom came to where the “Three Musketeers” were sitting. “Well, dear. Are you about ready to head home?” Mandy looked up at her mother and a tear crept out of her eye. “I guess so. I have had so much fun today just being here with my two dearest friends. I am tired, so I suppose we should leave now.”


They all said their farewells to Mandy and her mom and were blowing her kisses as her mom pulled her backward through the grass until she could turn her around on the more solid ground. “I’ll let you know as soon as Freedom emerges and flies away”, Fancy shouted to her. “I promise.” Fancy watched as they wheeled out of sight and a sadness came over her. She wasn’t quite sure why and the feeling was lost as her mother spoke up. “I do believe it is time for you to come in so we can eat. And for you young man, you should probably be heading home too.” Daniel glanced at Fancy but spoke to her mother. “Yes, ma’am Mrs. Nature. I am going right now. I am so hungry I could eat a whole large pizza by myself. I’ll see you tomorrow Fancy. I bet we’ll get to see that butterfly come out of its little house and fly away.” With that, Daniel took off running ahead of Fancy and her mom towards where he left his bike. Lifting his bike up from where he had just let it fall on the ground, he was on it and pedaling away before Fancy and her mom even made it to their back door. “Be careful,” Fancy shouted as she was walking into her house but he was already out of sight. Fancy always felt a calmness and comfortable feeling whenever she walked into her house and today was no exception. It was a feeling of being loved and of loving her family back. It was a happiness that never seem to fade away. Of course, that yummy smell of food and dessert was pretty important too. “Gee Mom, something smells delicious. I really am hungry now that I got a good whiff of what you have cooked.” Smiling at the almost compliment, Fancy’s mom replied, “It’s your favorite, beef rouladen and gravy. So let’s sit down and see if we can devour all of this food. That is after we say thanks first.” Fancy nodded in agreement as she sat down to a plate full of her mom’s wonderful cooking.


7. Freedom


Morning arrived with the sound of birds chirping right outside of Fancy’s window. She slowly opened her eyes and smiled as the songs of the birds drifted into her world. It was as if Fancy had her own natural alarm clock that created songs of perfect harmony. Songs that were uplifting and arousing all at the same time. Fancy took a moment to just lay in bed and breathe in the beauty of the new day. It seemed to her that today was going to be a very special day. Exactly how and why she didn’t know, but she was sure of it.


Fancy finally decided it was time to get up and hustle down to the tree to see what was happening with Freedom. After getting dressed, she went downstairs and into the kitchen. “Mom, I just want to eat a bowl of cereal and have a glass of juice. I need to get to the tree and see what Freedom is up to.” Fancy’s mom poured some cereal and milk into a bowl and brought it to the table where Fancy was sitting. “I guess you can go outside after you finish this and I will clean up for you. I wouldn’t want you to miss such an important event.” Fancy smiled at her mom as she said, “Aww thanks, Mom.” Finishing her cereal and the last few gulps of juice, she got up from the table and told her mother she was going to see Freedom. “Here Fancy, take this camera so you can keep your promise to Mandy if the butterfly emerges.” Fancy picked up the camera and just for that moment her thought drifted to Mandy. “Thanks for remembering Mom.”


As she walked outside, Daniel came riding up beside her. “My, my boy you sure are here early.” Daniel jumped off of his bike as he let it fall to the ground. “That’s because I knew you would be out here already and I didn’t want to miss the birth of Freedom.” Fancy just smiled and walking away she spoke up, “well, let’s go see what our little buddy is up to.”


Fancy had the camera hanging around her neck as she and Daniel came up to the tree. They looked at the cocoon as it seemed to start a rolling, wiggling motion. “Oh gosh, Daniel, I think it is happening,” Fancy screamed out. “So do I but you don’t have to scream. I am right here.” They watched as the butterfly that was trapped inside slowly forced the walls of the cocoon to split. Freedom slipped free into its new life. It was covered in a liquid that had surrounded it inside the safety of the cocoon. Slowly, by wiggling and moving its wings, the wet butterfly was no more. No, now it was dry and absolutely gorgeous. It seemed to shake for just a split second. Almost like a wet dog shaking off the water from its fur. Then it spread its wings and rose from the branch. Fancy was so excited that she didn’t think about the camera until the last second. She raised the camera to her face and as Freedom flapped the wings and flew off, Fancy witnessed it all through the lens of her camera while taking pictures for Mandy.


Freedom flew in circles close to the tree as if to say good-bye to Fancy and Daniel before leaving for good. Flying in an erratic back and forth path, Freedom finally took off for destinations unknown. Fancy and Daniel watched as Freedom slowly left their vision and disappeared. “Goodbye Freedom,” Fancy called out. “Yeah, goodbye Freedom,” Daniel chimed in.


Daniel and Fancy looked at each other and gave each other high-fives. “That was so awesome. I can’t wait to tell Mandy and show her the pictures. Freedom just flew away to its own freedom,” Fancy said as she hugged Daniel. “Let’s go and tell Mandy,” Daniel half shouted.


Turning around to head to the house they saw Fancy’s mom walking towards them. “Mom, Freedom just emerged and flew away. It was so cool. We need to tell Mandy.” Fancy’s mom reached the two of them and kneeling down in front of them she spoke softly. “I am glad that Freedom has emerged and flew away, but Mandy’s mom just called. It seems that Mandy too has gotten her freedom from her pain and suffering. She has passed away just a few minutes ago. Her mom wanted to let you know before you heard it from anyone else. She said to thank you both for being such amazing friends to her Mandy. I know it is a time to be sad, but you can also celebrate her life and your life that you shared with her.” Mandy’s mom stood up and reached out to pull them both to her. She hugged them and held them close as they both felt tears escaping from their eyes. They had no control over the tears and they both appreciated the comfort the hug gave them.


“I guess Mandy and the butterfly both are happy and free. I have to believe it is a good thing for my friend to be pain-free and I am sure she is as carefree as Freedom now. She has received her wings and her death has set her free from her cancer and pain,” Fancy squeaked out between sobs.


“Yes, we must now say a prayer for her family as they deal with her loss. As hard as it is for you, it will be much harder for them. You will find that time will help ease your pain, but her parents will never have that relief. They will hurt and will long to hold her each and every day. Even though they are thankful her pain is gone now, they will always long for her,” Fancy looked at Daniel and smiled. “I guess we should give her mom copies of the pictures of Freedom so that she can hang them in Mandy’s room. After all, I think that is what Mandy would want.” Daniel shook his head in agreement. “Come on kids, let’s go and print the pictures and take them to Mandy’s parents. We can see if there is anything we can do to help.” The three of them, with arms around each other, walked away from the tree knowing they have been touched by Mandy in a special way. “Mom, I am sure we will always remember the beauty and the joy of the cycle of life and our irreplaceable friend, Mandy.” “Yes, I believe you are correct, my dear.”


8. Mandy’s Last Journal Entry


I write this knowing that this will be my last journal entry. I have become too weak and just writing this today will take all my strength, but I feel that I need to say a few things.


I am ever so thankful for the amazing journey of life that I have had. The cancer was just a part of the journey. It was not the defining part of it. The amazing love I received and gave was the defining part. I was blessed with parents that loved me unconditionally and they made it so easy to love them back. It became easy to share with others the love that they instilled in me. They both taught me to always share and to do so with love and to never judge another person. I hope I have lived up to that so I am able to honor them as my parents and teachers. I thank God for both of them and for allowing me the blessing of being their daughter.


Mom and Dad, I know you became concerned and troubled when you heard me talking to my beloved MiMi. The fact that I was seeing her and talking to her became your sign that I was slipping further away. When you read this I hope you understand why I was seeing and talking to her even though she passed away a few years ago. I wasn’t losing my mind. Far from it. MiMi was and still is coming to visit me. She assures me she will be with me when the time comes and will help me leave here and begin my new journey. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I really was seeing her and speaking with her. We both chuckle at the thought of when you read this and what you will believe afterward. MiMi told me that after she passed away that she would often come around. Mostly she would come to me as a butterfly. I think that explains a lot, don’t you? She says she was always with us, as are most of our loved ones that have already passed away. I told her that I too want to be with you and Dad and my other family and friends like that. She explained that I will be able to do that. I will be with you all and some days that beautiful lone butterfly that catches your eye…..well…that will be me. It may be a day that you least expect it but need it most. It will be a sign of my enduring love for you. She explained that I will always be with you just like she is. I will be in the brilliance of the starry night. I will be in the song of a songbird. I will be in the coolness of the breeze. I will be in the beauty of your favorite flower. I will be everywhere. Most of all I will be in your hearts and thoughts and that comforts me even as I write this.


I am so thankful for my two best friends, Fancy, and Daniel. They were always my friends and that friendship never faltered or changed. Even when I changed from what people consider “normal” to a cancer-stricken, sickly girl. I looked horrible as I withered away and lost my hair. OMG, how awful I looked, but they didn’t seem to notice. The other kids at school and around the neighborhood distanced themselves from me. I guess I was too different and looked like a freak to them. Fancy and Daniel taught me a huge lesson. They opened my eyes to the fact that you can’t judge a person by what you think you know or see. There are so many people in the world that we, as a society, seem to label different or weird. Then we make choices to not be friendly towards them and to isolate them from our own lives. Everyone is special and has something special to give to the world. My two friends allowed me to see that through their actions. They too can look forward to visits from me in my butterfly form. LoL. I want them to know that when I fly by that I am giving them a reason to stop whatever they are doing and smile. It is the least I can do after all the joy and smiles they gave me and still do.


Some people are labeled as different from the moment of birth while some are considered different at a later point in life. I became different not by choice but by what life sent my way. What I want everyone to know is that I never changed who I was. I was still the same curious, happy, loving person that I always was. I felt love, pain, happiness, and sadness. I would laugh and I would cry. I loved having friends to visit and to have conversations about pretty much anything. It was the human interaction that I craved and wanted. I thank God for Daniel and Fancy because they were always there for me. What I am trying to say is that everyone that is labeled as different deserves and wants acceptance just like everyone else in the world. So if someone is different from you that is an amazing blessing. That makes you and them unique. Quit being standoffish and get to know them for who they truly are deep down. Don’t miss out on an awesome friendship because of what you think they are or what they appear to be. Embrace them as the beautiful creation they are and experience amazing memories with and through them. Let them enrich your life while you enrich theirs. That is what Life is all about and I can tell you that life is so very precious. Some day you will understand. I hope it isn’t too late when you do.


I must go now but I will always be here even after my life here is over. I will very soon spread my new wings and like the butterfly fly off to Freedom. I will then have freedom from this pain and suffering. So remember me always with good memories and good feelings. Look for me in all things beautiful and above all….smile.


I love you, Mom and Dad. I am so glad that our journey together is not over.


9. The Gift of Memory


The Adventures of Fancy Nature:Beauty, Butterflies and Freedom

Enter the world of Fancy Nature and her best friend Daniel Curious as they observe and learn about the life cycle of a butterfly. Come along and experience the emotions of Fancy, Daniel and their very special friend Mandy, who loves butterflies and life, but who is confined to a wheelchair as she deals with cancer. Find the beauty in the friendship of the three and the loyalty of Fancy and Mandy as they learn the true meaning of being different and of being on a journey of Freedom unlike anything they ever imagined.

  • ISBN: 9781311058065
  • Author: Daniel K Gartlan
  • Published: 2016-01-17 01:20:08
  • Words: 12069
The Adventures of Fancy Nature:Beauty, Butterflies and Freedom The Adventures of Fancy Nature:Beauty, Butterflies and Freedom