January 30, 2011

Chasing Daisies

By Sam Antha

Part 1: Finding Hope

I was five years old when I picked my first daisy. Small white petals curving outward, with a bright yellow inside, it was so beautiful; I thought they were the most beautiful flowers of all. I would pick them whenever I was given the chance. Just a small girl, short tangled blond hair in my face, curious blue eyes, and the curiosity and imagination every child is bestowed with at some point. Daisies were very popular to pick, almost everyone wanted one in their hands; a little piece of hope for their darkened days. My father told me a story about them once when I was holding one in my small hands, admiring its beauty. “You know why daisies are so special?” He asked.
“Because they’re pretty?” I asked.
“Well that too.” He chuckled softly. “But also because each one holds a piece of hope a piece of believing. Not many of us can have that now of days.” He sighed. “So I would like you to promise not to pick one unless you need it, or know someone who does. Lots of us like to pick them because of what they behold, but there is only so much hope to go around, and there are not many daisies left.” He explained.
I stared into his deep expression. “I promise.” I said with wide eyes. His story never left me.

5 years later

I ran downstairs, my feet thumping, and my hair flopping up and down.
“Mom! Mom! What happened?” I asked, out of breath, my eyes on the verge of tears.
She was crying, her eyes a dusky pink. I looked out to the deck to see Emma, her knees to her chin, and her eyes looking out to the forest. I knew something was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” I asked my expression darkened.
She cried some more, than sat down, she patted a seat beside her. I slowly walked over, and took a seat beside her. I looked at her, not sure of what to say.
“Dad has lung cancer.”
The words passed through me slowly, and I began to cry. The world felt suffocating, as I lay on my mom’s shoulder, breathing out slowly. This shouldn’t have happened; my dad quit smoking a long time ago. All aspects of life seemed to drift into a cloud of confusion, and it would only get worse.

1 year later

I don’t know what to do, how to give us hope, how to let my Dad survive. They already think he only has 2 years left, I would like to believe otherwise, but the state he is in, seems to go the other direction. I can’t get to sleep tonight, not that I usually can. My sister is in her room, and my mom is downstairs drinking coffee. I lay on my back, I decide I should just go to sleep, and I do, looking at the glow in the dark stickers on my walls my dad and me put up. A tear leaves my eye. The world fades as I wonder what death is really like.
I wake up, and look at the regular dreary expressions of my sister and mom as we drive to the hospital.
We greet the receptionist, and walk in the door.
“Hello Claire. Hello Emma.” My dad says as we walk in.
“Hi dad.” I reply back. I watch Emma as she walks over and gives him a big hug.
He looks pretty bad now, his face looks bruised, his breathing looks hard, and he seems to be in pain. “Well I’m going to get a coffee,” My mom says.
“I’ll come too.” Emma adds.
“Can you get me a juice, I’ll stay here.” I reply. I don’t understand how they can just avoid everything like that. The door closes, I sigh.
“How are you doing?” I ask.
“Alright.” He says. “But I’m more worried about how you’re doing.” He adds.
“I’m fine.” I reply.
“Are you really going to die?” I ask.
“Probably.” He admits.
“I’ll miss you.” I say.
“I’ll miss you too. “ He says.
“I want you to remember that there is always hope. You can find it, if you look.”
I nod.
“Thank you.” I say hugging him. I head down stairs and find my mom in the car drinking coffee, my sister in the back. I sigh, and then walk out to the car. I try to figure out what my dad meant by “you can find it”. I don’t know how to find hope.
I sit in my room drinking my juice. I grab a book with pressed flowers and leaves I put in it when I was little. There are red leaves, yellow leaves, green ones, all different shapes, I see a lilac, and a lily, and on the last page, I find the first daisy I picked when I was little. I laugh a little. It becomes very obvious now. “The hope is in the daisy” My dad would say.


It was my eleventh birthday today, but nobody remembered. So I decided to go to the hospital. I tried to keep from crying as I entered his room, but when I saw all the balloons, cake, and a beautifully wrapped present. Tears flooded my eyes. I came up and hugged him tight.
“I figured you would come.” He smiled.
“Thank you.” I whispered. My favourite nurse came in and cut the cake for us and set everything up. It was my favourite kind of cake, ice cream. It was the most fun I had with my dad in a long time. We wore party hats, and played silly games like pin the tail on the donkey. It was truly magical. When it was done, I picked up the small silver wrapped box.
“You really shouldn’t ha-“I began.
“No.” He stopped me. “I should.”
I untied the bow, and slowly tore the silver paper. Inside was a small box. I opened it, and inside was a silver necklace, with a small daisy hanging in the middle. Small white petals curving outward, with a bright yellow inside, it was just as beautiful as the real thing.
“Thank you.” I said, putting the necklace around my neck. There and then I knew hope wasn’t something I needed to find, it had been with me all along.

Part 2: Chasing Daisies

I went back home and lay back on my bed. The emptiness felt half full, and I felt warmth I haven’t felt in a long time. I fell asleep very easily that night.
I awoke to yelling downstairs. I pulled on my housecoat, and made my way down the stairs. I saw Emma and mom yelling at each other, both crying. Mom was laying on the couch a bottle of pills in her hand. Emma was crying.
“Go back to bed Claire.” Emma said.
Emma went over and grabbed the pills away from mom. She threw them as far as she could outside, and put a glass of water in front of her. Tears filled my eyes, I went back up stairs, breathing slowly, I felt the fullness leave me, and right now, hope felt ungraspable. I could hear Emma crying as I fell asleep.
I awoke early the following morning, around 8’oclock. I went outside, and looked around for a while. I looked almost everywhere, but there weren’t any daisies, I decided to head back, the sun was piercing anyway. I walked to the doorstep and in a small clump of grass I saw a small, white daisy. I picked it slowly, and I walked in to see my mom sleeping on the couch, and Emma solemnly eating a bowl of cereal.
“Where did you go?” She asked.
“Just for a walk.” I said. She nodded.
I breathed deeply. I sat beside her.
“Here,” I said handing her the daisy.
“Why are you giving me a flower? Like this could fix our problems!” She asked annoyed.
“Just keep it.” I said. “Remember when we were little, and you believed in the daisy story?”
“Yeah?” She said.
“Well that’s the one thing we need right now, what you need. Hope.” I said. I walked upstairs, wanting to leave her thinking. I hope this would work. I lay on bed for a while, twiddling around with my blond hair. I stare into my brown eyes, hoping I could find a way to make everything better, even though everything is getting worse. I hear a knock on my door.
“Come in.” I say.
Emma comes in, I see tears on her face, and she comes and sits besides me and hugs me. Sobbing into my hair. I hug back, not sure what to do, but I’m comforted that I can feel the acceptance in her grasp.

2 years later

“I can’t find one anywhere! Lets just go back.” Emma whined.
“We have to try.” I disagree.
“Mom is pretty much a lost cause Claire, I don’t see why you’re doing this.” She said.
“Wait.” I say jogging towards the house.
“What?” Emma asks.
I keep jogging until I reach the house and then I go to my room, I can feel Emma following me.
“What is it?!” She asks annoyed. I go under my bed and grab the dusty book I had since I was little. I blow off the dust, and flip slowly to the last page. I slowly slide out the daisy.
“Oh.” She says quietly “You sure about that?” She asks. I nod.
“Lets wait.” I decide.
“Until what?” Emma asks.
I look at the daisy in my hands.
“Oh.” she replies. I was glad she figured it out. I didn’t want to say the day he would die. But it was said to be the 7th. The 7th of July.


Emma and I made weekly visits, we went to movies, played bored games, baked, we did everything we could, but soon enough the day approached. Emma and I could barely sleep that night. Our minds were too swarmed with thoughts. I woke up with Emma around 7’oclock, we went downstairs, and slowly made it to moms room.
“You go.” She said. “I don’t need to.” She added.
“Okay.” I said. I breathed deeply. I opened the door, and sat beside mom.
“Do you need something, Hun?” My mom asked rubbing her eyes. I opened my mom’s hand, and slowly placed the daisy in her palm.
“I want you to have this.” I whispered. She looked down at the daisy, a tear slowly falling from her eye.
“I don’t-“ She began.
“Just keep it.” I interrupted. I gave her a hug, and then left the room. I sighed and then rested my head against the wall and cried. Emma hugged me.
“Come on, we better go.” She said. I looked back, but the door remained closed, I don’t think she was coming.
“Okay.” I replied.


I didn’t think she would come, but only around 15 minutes later, I saw her face in the doorway. I came up and hugged her, and I could tell from her face, she understood the meaning of my gift. We all sat that day, telling stories, recalling memories, playing games, and having fun. The first time in a long time it almost felt like the emptiness was gone.

Emma and I sat alone in the hallway at one point, letting mom and dad talk.
“I’m really gonna miss him.” Emma said.
“Me too.” I agreed.
“Thanks for fixing everything.” She smiled a little.
“Your welcome.” I matched her smile.
“Do you think mom is going to be okay?” She asked
“I hope so.” I replied.


I got to see dad one more time, before he was set to die. I came up on the hospital bed and sat beside him.
“I love you I said. I’m going to miss you.” I said with tears drenching my face.
“I love you too.” He said.
I hugged him.
“Thank you.” He said kissing my forehead. “Never lose your hope.” He added.
I half smiled. “I promise.”
“Love you.” I said, but his eyes were already closed. I headed out the door, and hugged mom and Emma.


Emma is better now, smiling, living, and loving. Mom is also better, not great, but better. She smiles sometimes, laughs even. She has come to terms now, and even though I see her pain everyday, I know somehow she is healing. The emptiness, sometimes I feel like its there, but all I have to do to make it go away, is look at my necklace and know, that he will always be with me.


His funeral was painful, but beautiful at the same time. Emma and I found nice black dresses, and mom found one with a small black veil. Before we left, we all took a daisy and rested it on his grave, in memory of all the hope he has given us, when he didn’t have any for himself.

In loving memory of Robert Palmer
A great father who always knew: “The hope is in the daisy”

~The End~

1 comment:

  1. When I can, I want to read it. I don't have the time right now, but I want to read it.