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A Hug for Do
I twirl in my pretty sundress. It is yellow and has a lot of flowers that are red on it so when I spin they all melt together and I can’t tell them apart. I like spinning. I am seven with blond hair and blue eyes. I used to have two grandfathers but now I only have one because Do died. Do is my favorite grandfather, but that’s a secret because you’re not allowed to have favorites.
I sit on the edge of Nana’s bed and swing my feet, looking at my white shoes that have little heels on them. I am excited because this time I get to ride in a fancy limo. Last time it was my great-grandmother Vovo’s funeral, and Mommy made me ride in the blue truck with Daddy.
I am excited but mostly I am sad. I am sad because I’m never going to get to see Do again. I feel bad for Mommy and Tee-tee (I’m a big girl so I should call her Aunt Anna, but I always forget) more; Do is their Daddy. I would be so sad if I couldn’t see my Daddy until I got to heaven. I don’t think I could ever stop crying.
“Nana, I miss Do,” I say to Nana who is putting on her shoes next to me. She looks up at me and opens her mouth before she looks past me and her eyes get watery.
“Oh honey,” she says. I think she is talking to me so when she crawls onto the bed I open my arms for a hug, but she crawls past me to Tee-tee. Tee-tee’s face is all crumpled and she has a lot of purple under her eyes because she just had a baby. His name is Aidan Roderick, and I haven’t gotten to hold him since Nana always does. It is because she is sad like me.
“I miss Daddy,” Tee-tee says in a funny voice that goes up and down. It sounds like she is choking on her words. Her eyes are splotchy and red when Nana hugs her, running her hand through Tee-tee’s hair. She cries for a long time, and I don’t know what to do because adults don’t cry a lot. I decide not to look at her because I feel like I shouldn’t.
I start looking at the wall instead. It has a line of wallpaper along it that reminds me of a country house. It is mostly white but has houses and trees drawn in blue on it. I love Nana’s and Do’s house because it smells good. Am I still allowed to call it Nana’s and Do’s? Should it just be called Nana’s?
I feel bad because Do loved me a lot and only yelled at me once in my whole entire life, but I used to get mad at him all the time. He always kissed me, and it made me annoyed because I wanted to watch Scooby-Doo. He used to get me poppy seed muffins every morning, and he even shoveled the driveway after a snow storm left us stuck. He only shoveled the driveway because I wanted to go to Vovo’s. He shoveled the driveway for me.
Nana and Tee-tee are still crying, but Nana’s making little shushing noises Mommy makes to me sometimes. Do died because he got lung cancer. Vovo died because of cancer. I do not like cancer. I hate it. I know you are not supposed to hate things but I hate cancer because it is taking everyone away from me. I am so mad at cancer I start crying too.
I look up at Tee-tee and Nana who are still hugging. Nana sees me looking, and her face crumples like Tee-tee’s did.
“Oh honey,” Nana says. This time I know she is talking to me, so I crawl like she did across the bed, and I join the hug. I try and send my hug to Do too. We drive in the fancy limo and in our fancy clothes. Everyone laughs at a giant Miller Light bottle (That was Do’s favorite drink). Mommy says it means Do is looking down at us.
I think it means he got my hug.