I watched as her eyes softly fluttered open and focused on my face laying just a foot or so away. She smiled and stretched her long thin 4-year old arms. Then, looking up at the ceiling, she frowned slightly and said, “I wanted to finish it, Daddy.”

“Finish what?” I asked her slowly.

She sighed. “I was drawing a flower,” she paused, remembering. “It was a beautiful flower. A rainbow flower. And it was surrounded by grass and leaves, under a bright blue sky with the sun and clouds. And I wanted to finish it.” She looked down at her empty hands “But it’s gone now, isn’t it?” and then she glanced around the empty bed beside her. “And my crayons are gone too…”

I pulled her into my arms. “No, they’re not gone.” I assured her. “They are in the safest place possible.” I tapped lightly on her forehead. “Your rainbow flower is still right up here. You can draw it whenever you want. Just use your imagination. And maybe later today you can draw it for me on paper so I can see your rainbow flower.”

She seemed to accept this and happily wandering out the door to face the day, but a piece of me is still sad that I will never really get to see the rainbow flower that I now know is growing in my daughter’s mind.