Do Butterflies Go To Heaven?

by General Deborah Green

Flutter, flutter, like the soft wings of a butterfly, Monica remembered when she was a child how she loved to watch the butterflies as they fluttered in the sky. They were so soft, so beautiful, so delicate. Within herself, she could feel the soft flutter of tender life, and her eyes filled with tears and she thought of butterflies in the warm sunshine and the soft breeze and her mother's voice, singing as she worked.

It had been a long time since Monica had thought of the butterflies but now it seemed like she thought of them all the time because it felt like they were inside of her. She thought alot of her mother too, and of the soft breeze and the warm sun. Monica had enjoyed her life as a young child, and she never knew what worry was because there were butterflies, and her mother and then her baby brother. At night, her father would come home and they would all eat together and laugh at baby brother and all the tricks he pulled.

One day, Monica's world changed because no longer was mother's voice to be heard, nor was baby brother to be found, or played with or laughed at. Father came home very sad, and he held Monica and told her that mother and baby brother had gone to heaven to be with God and that Monica would not see them anymore. Monica remembered that her heart hurt deep within her and she felt like it cracked open. Where was mother? Where was baby brother, why was father so sad? Monica's world changed overnight, there were so many lonely spots, because mother was not around any more to watch her play with the butterflies, nor was baby brother around to be silly, but only long, long hours that were empty.

Father faced each day with heaviness, and finally under the strain, he decided to move far away to a big city. He took Monica with him and they left behind all of the warm, wonderful memories of mother and brother and the butterflies and the soft breeze and the sun. When they got to the big city, father got a job where he was important, and he hired a nanny to take care of Monica.

The nanny was nice to Monica, but she was not mother. She liked to talk alot and didn't like to clean or cook so she would be with Monica all day. She taught Monica alot of things that mother would not have liked her to know, but mother was not around, she was in heaven and Monica did not know anyone in the big city. The nanny was young and she had been to college or so she said. She said also she had travelled and known a lot of men, whatever that meant. She always talked about freedoms and how important it was to be free. She told Monica, when she grew up that she should claim all of her rights and freedoms as a woman and not let any man oppress her. Monica did not clearly understand the nanny because the only man she knew was her father and he was good to her. To Monica, the words, oppress, freedoms, and rights were words she knew she would understand when she grew up.

Father became very much more important on his job and he had to travel alot. When he was gone, he would leave Monica with the nanny, who was always glad when father left because she would never clean the house but only listen to music and talk to her friend all day. Her friend would come over most of the time when father wasn't there, to stay with nanny. But Monica understood because when father was gone, they needed another father. Of course, nanny told Monica never to tell father because he would feel bad. So, Monica never told her father about nanny's friend.

Sometimes, when nanny's friend was there, Monica would feel terrible inside and she would cry and wish she had her mother back, and her brother and even that she could see the soft flutter of the butterflies again. But the crack in her heart would only hurt when she thought like that and it was no use anyway. Nanny's friend, said he wanted to teach her about freedom too, and he told her girls should have freedom and that they could do things that only grown-ups used to do because now the government said they could be free just like the adults! Sometimes when nanny left the house to go to the store, her friend would show Monica how to do funny things that felt ugly, but he said she had to do them to be free! Sometimes, Monica hated herself after the friend had been there, and she hated freedom, but after all, girls had to be free! So, what else could she do, who could she turn to? Mother was gone to heaven and father was very much more important.

As Monica grew older, she noticed that nanny's friend was always finding reasons to send nanny out shopping so he could be alone with her. Sometimes she would yell at him, but he wouldn't stop because he wanted her to be free! Sometimes at night, she would cry and beg God to let her die so she could be with mother and baby brother in heaven. She hardly even knew father any more because he was very, very important and had to be gone alot. She could not even talk to nanny because the friend said that nanny would hurt her if she knew that Monica knew about freedom. So, Monica was trapped, and lonely.

One day, when Monica was twelve, her father came home a day early from one of his important trips. When he walked into the house, he was shocked to find the nanny there with her friend, in bed, even though it was only two o'clock in the afternoon. The music was real loud and the house was a mess because nanny did not like to clean. Monica was not home from school when father came into the house, so she was surprised when he told her that he had fired the nanny and that she was gone with her friend. It didn't hurt to see her go away like it had with mother and Monica was glad that the friend was gone too, so she didn't have to learn anymore about freedom! Father seemed to care more about Monica after that and he even tried to take her on a few trips with him.

Soon after the nanny had left, Monica began to be very tired, and most of the time in the mornings she was real sick and could not even stand to eat her breakfast anymore. She felt so sad and always was thinking about her mother and she cried alot. She wanted to sleep more and even though she went on some trips with her father, she didn't have much fun because he would leave her alone at the hotel while he went to his very important meetings. But, she couldn't blame father because he was so very important and she was too young to go to the meetings. Sometimes, she would ask father to let her do certain things while he was gone, but he would say, "no" because he thought she was too young. But, she knew better because nanny's friend had taught her about freedom! So, sometimes when father was gone, she would leave the hotel by herself and just wander up and down the streets, looking for someone to talk to or listen to music with. What else was she supposed to do, she was exercising her freedom. Sometimes, she would even wish she would meet someone like nanny's friend, who even though he hurt her, he had talked to her and held her tight. Her heart ached alot from the crack that had happened when mother left.

After several months, Monica decided to tell her father that she was sick, maybe he could take her to the doctor or something. She seemed to be getting fat, but who cared because she got whatever she wanted when father took her on the trips because he just left her money to eat on. So, she told her father how she felt and he grew alarmed and immediately called the doctor who had cared for Monica since she had been in the big city. When Monica went to the doctor, he kept asking her questions and feeling around on her stomach. Then he said he had to examine her in a new way, so the nurse came in and he poked around and felt her some more in the places where only nanny's friend had taught her about freedom. He kept muttering to himself, and he whispered to the nurse, but Monica heard him anyway, and he said, "I don't believe it". Monica got scared because she thought she might have cancer or something like that. So, when she went home, she asked her father, what did the doctor say? Father looked sad and when she asked that, he didn't answer but just told her that she would be going to a counseling center to get some help.

That night, Monica could feel the flutter within her more than ever, just like the butterflies when she was a little girl. She wondered what was counseling about anyway? Oh, well, she would go because father was sad. When Monica got to the counseling center, there were all kinds of women there, most of them seemed sad, many of them reminded her of nanny. She was taken into an office where a woman sat behind a big desk and had lots of pictures and sayings on her walls. She noticed some sayings about women's rights and freedom of choice. She knew about that because nanny had told her. She wondered if this women knew about girl's rights too. Oh, well she might ask her sometime.

The woman began to talk real sweet to Monica, but there was something about her that Monica didn't like. But then, after all of those years with nanny and her friend, what did it matter anyway? The woman asked Monica alot of questions about her mother, and her brother and mostly about her father. She asked Monica if her father had molested her. But Monica wasn't sure what she meant, so she told the woman no because she didn't know what that meant. Then, the woman explained it and so Monica told her about nanny's friend and how he had taught her about freedom! She even asked the woman if she knew about how girls could be free. Of course, the women knew about that too, but Monica thought she really impressed her when she talked about her freedom with nanny's friend. The woman told Monica to come back in three days and then she would explain everything to her. Of course, Monica felt somewhat important because she had been to counseling and now she knew about that too!

That night, father seemed more sad than ever and Monica was real worried she might have cancer, so she tried to talk to her father and tell him everything would be okay. But, he didn't want to talk to her, so she just went to her room and laid down. She could feel the butterflies and her mind flew back over the years to her mother, even before baby brother had come and how mother had been happy waiting for brother, and had told her that they were going to have a baby. As mother's belly had grown large, she used to lay Monica's hands on it and tell her how the baby was inside, and sometimes Monica could even feel it kick. She wondered if brother had grown in heaven or if he had stayed a baby. She loved him so much, she remembered the first time she had held him, and he had kicked his tiny feet and opened his mouth, she thought for sure that no one on earth had a baby as wonderful as hers. Mother used to let her hold baby a lot times if she was real careful. The fluttering just seemed to keep up so she turned over on her side and put her face in her arms and cried some more.

When the day came that Monica was to go to the counseling center, father had very important business, so he couldn't go with her. But she could go alone, for after all, she did know how to do some things. So, she went all alone and sat and waited for the lady with the big desk to call her in. When she went inside, the woman seemed to want to engulf Monica and she kept reassuring how good everything would be, once the problem was taken care of and that everything would be back to normal. She told Monica she would no longer have the flutters and that she wouldn't be sick anymore, and that she, most important of all, would be able to continue on the pathway of freedom. The woman explained to Monica about a tissue mass that was growing inside of her and this was what was causing the butterflies and that once it was removed, that Monica would lose weight, and she wouldn't be sick any more. The woman went on talking and telling Monica how easy it would be to remove the tissue and that she would not suffer much and they would take care of everything for her and would even dispose of the tissue for her. The woman told Monica she had to have the procedure done soon because if they waited too long, the tissue could turn into a baby and then Monica would have to quit school and take care of it all the time. The woman told Monica that to have a baby at her age was terrible and that she had the right to choose and that she should get rid of the tissue now while there was time. Of course, Monica acted like she understood everything and that what the woman wanted would be what she would do so she could still go to school and be free. The woman was very anxious that Monica agreed with her, so Monica did, because the woman acted like she was very smart. So, the woman got on the phone and called several people. At last she said to Monica, "It is all arranged, tomorrow afternoon we will take care of the problem and all of your troubles will go away and you can get back to normal." Monica said, "Okay" and she took the piece of paper the woman handed her and left the office. As she went home she could feel the fluttering again, the woman said it would be good when it was gone, so it must be done.

When she got home, father was there but he looked real pale, she told him what the woman had said and he said all right, because what else could he say, the woman was a counselor and she knew all about adolescent problems, and he didn't know anything at all. Father went to bed early and seemed very sad, but Monica told herself that he would be okay once the tissue was removed because she would be well again. The next morning, Monica did not go to school and she took a long bath and her mind drifted back again to her childhood and she could feel her mother putting her hand on her belly to feel the baby. Monica wondered was the tissue mass a baby? But, no, the woman said it was a tissue mass and must be removed. So, Monica wiped the tears away from her eyes and got ready for her appointment because she was real grown up and was going to a clinic today.

All the way to the clinic, the fluttering just kept up, and Monica kept seeing butterflies before her eyes and the crack in her heart just hurt alot. She wished she could talk to mother, but mother was gone to heaven. She even wished she could hold baby brother but he was gone too! She wondered if brother had been a tissue mass, but no, he was a baby. Anyway, she had to keep her freedom because that was important. So, she went into the clinic, and father waited with her till they called her to the room. The place smelled real strange and all of the doctors and nurses were real busy and she saw some other women there, but only one girl who looked to be a couple of years older than her. Maybe alot of women had tissue problems these days. They took her in and put her on a table and gave her some shots, then they started the procedure on her. It took a lot longer than she had been told and they used noisy machines and she cried as they kept pulling out pieces of the tissue. She opened her eyes and could have sworn she saw a baby's hand, but then she told herself it was only a tissue. After a while, they said they were through and it was messy with blood where they had done the tissue extraction but then again, tissues probably bleed. So, Monica hobbled out to her father who looked pale again and he took her home and put her to bed. Father seemed somewhat relieved but very nervous, but Monica was too tired to think much about father.

That night, Monica waited for the flutters to start but nothing came, only a cold, empty, dead feeling in her belly. She started crying because her butterfly was gone, she thought about her brother, her mother, and she saw the butterflies, and the crack in her heart hurt so much. She cried herself to sleep, asking God, over and over again, "Do butterflies go to heaven?"

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