by: Rose O’Thorns
Daisy Duke sat looking out the window of her bedroom. From this vantage point, Daisy could see everything she had ever loved. She could see the fields full of promise, the barn where she learned responsibility, and most importantly the faces of those who loved her no matter what trouble she found herself in, or what trouble found them for that matter.
But there was an itch, deep down where she could never scratch. And with a sigh of longing and regret, Daisy realized what it was. A bird has got to fly. Daisy chuckled to herself, remembering dreams of Nashville stardom and of NASCAR glory. That had been dreams of, whew, so long ago.
Daisy never thought she would come upon the day…the day she would really leave the farm. Daisy looked around her room. The corner where Aunt Martha sat and taught a very frustrated young lady to sew; The closet where costume jewelry could make a girl a princess-in-waiting; Her bed where she and her cousins scurried underneath during storms to tell ghost stories.
Daisy looked at her family diligently working the farm, where generations of Dukes were born and bred. Daisy’s eyes shined with the glow of happy tears remembering the love she had found here. Daisy’s world tumbled the day her parents died in that car accident, but her uncle and aunt came, like angels on the wind, to pick up the pieces and help her find happiness again. Daisy let her eyes fall upon her uncle, looking right into the soul of him. This man was truly her Daddy, even if he wasn’t really her father. This man chased away ghosts at 3AM, nursed a growing girl’s broken heart, and even suffered through prom dress hunting.
Daisy then let her eyes fall on her two cousins, both of whom also lost parents at a young age. Luke, the oldest, was her protector and sounding board. He listened when Jamie Lee broke her heart and bullied the boys who called her unkind names in high school. But then smiling through tears, Daisy remembered Luke dropping water balloons from the roof—only to hit their uncle, and she remembered Luke as the one of the three cousins to begin pulling pranks when camping.
Daisy couldn’t forget her cousin Bo, the youngest. He was always ready with a laugh and a quick wit. Bo was her playmate and confidant. Only Bo knew why she hadn’t settled down with the local deputy. Only Bo knew where Daisy hid when she needed a break from life. Daisy couldn’t believe she was going to leave this place or these people behind, but she knew she had to do it. She had to spread her wings and prove to herself that she was more than a waitress, a farmhand, or even a dreamer.
Standing, stretching, and taking a deep breath, Daisy readied herself to tell her family she was off to college. It would be goodbye for now but not for ever.