DON'T FORGET TO FLY: A memoir
An eight-year-old stands shaking on the roof of her house wishing she could jump off. Fly away. Escape. Some twenty years later, I made that leap. This is a story of daring to remember my abusive past. Of daring to trust those memories. Daring to confront pain, confront my abuser and hope in happiness. But mostly, it is a story of daring to love myself, especially those lost and hurting parts. And in doing so, spread my adult wings and fly free of my past.
Some moments are so loud that being eight is scary. Small. And scary. But not tonight. Not here on our front lawn. This night is still, a happy kind of dark. With a big moon hanging low and soft in the sky.
My father stands beside me. The grass tickles under my feet and a breeze takes bits of my hair and makes it go all twisty in the air, but I don’t move. I am with my daddy.
His head is turned to the sky, his arms hanging at his side. I almost slip my little hand into his big one, but I stop myself. For a long time I don’t say anything.
Looking upwards, I try to see what my daddy is seeing. It’s all black paint up there.
I tilt my head.
But all I see are sheets and sheets of black. God pegs the night from his washing line in heaven and puts His sun to bed with a kiss each night, that’s what I think anyway.
Daddy says God made the night, the stars, the whole world. Daddy says God knows everything. I don’t know about that, but I think my daddy knows everything.
I look at Daddy. Daddy looks at the skies. I look back at Daddy. The seconds get longer and my feet itch. But I don’t want to speak and say something to make Daddy send me away, I have to know what we are staring at.
So I take a big breath and say, “What are we looking for, Daddy?”
Taken from 'Don't Forget to Fly'
a memoir by Tabitha Bird