"You’re not invisible”, I said. You might wish you were, but I can see you.”
“I know you can, but it takes special eyes to see me.”
The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips
Yard mowed, flowers and vegetables planted, I proudly surveyed my work and noticed the WEEDS. One of my favorite parts of gardening, besides seeing the fruits of my labor, is pulling weeds. It is mindless work and relaxing for me. You can’t have a beautiful life (society) unless you take the time to pull the weeds. Those fuckers multiply like crazy and before you know it, they are drowning out and killing all the flowers. What was once beautiful is now overrun with shit.
Weeds come out of the ground easily, they don’t have strong roots. Just yank them out and throw them away. Yes, it’s time consuming, but the effort is worth it. Being a novice gardener, I sometimes mistake weeds for flowers. Those I leave alone. I let them grow a bit more, let them show me what they are…but ultimately a weed is a weed and if we leave them to grow, we no longer have a garden, just a plot full of weeds. Or, if we move away from this poorly written metaphor, a family of life sucking assholes who think they can do whatever they want with no consequences.
I got so many cards and letters after Noelle died. The most memorable one came from the father and step-mother of the boys convicted of her death. I met Billy Shriver during one of the initial court appearances. I brazenly walked up to him and told him that while I appreciated his apology, I was going to do everything in my power to make sure his boys were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I was crying as I said this. He cried with me. Read that again. HE CRIED WITH ME.
His wife, Stacy rolled out of the bathroom as the tears rolled down both mine and Billy’s cheeks. I say rolled because Stacy is in a wheelchair. At one point in her life, she was a bad ass street luger. A senseless accident cost her the use of her legs. I refuse to call her paralyzed, because one day I hope and pray she will walk again.
During the trial, if we happened to be in the bathroom together, she would offer me the handicap stall if all the others were full. Being the bitch I am, I thought to myself, ‘Fuck you, I will pee in the sink before I accept your kindness.’ *Disclaimer: I never peed in the sink* Regardless of how long she had been waiting for an elevator, she would move aside while I tried not to glare at her through the slowly closing doors. She was kind. She was thoughtful. She was everything the “other” side of the defendant’s family was not. She got a lot of flak from the “others” for these kind gestures. Although her gentle smiles would sometimes infuriate me, they also helped me reaffirm that there were flowers among the weeds.
"She’s a bad ass with a good heart, soft, but strong. Unapologetic and honest. She’s the type of woman you go to war beside, the type of woman you marry." R.h Sin
Peace? What is peace to you? I thought to myself and I hate read her message.
"I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name was grief." Author unknown
She checked on me every day to make sure I had eaten. She applauded my efforts to quit smoking. She introduced me to her “flower children” via video chat. She and Billy even drove for over an hour to leave a Mother’s day plant on my front porch in the middle of the night.
This December, she asked me how I felt about the word Serendipity. I told her it was my favorite word. The actual definition is: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
I am so grateful for our serendipitous friendship...and I’m pretty sure that Noelle would have loved her too!
By the way, I named that Mother’s day plant, a beautiful Peony, Faith (yeah, I name all my plants) as a reminder that with faith all things are possible, and to remind myself that having faith in people and their inner goodness can change the way you look at and live life. That a strong flower can grow through the weeds.