Stealing from a little girl


I’ve still been suffering from ‘writers block’ as of late.   I think a lot of it stems from depression which I have unfortunately struggled with for years.    That and I think getting older I’ve lost a lot of my ambition,  which sucks because I used to write a lot back in the day.   There IS so much I want/need to get out in writing but my mind and my focus just can’t come to an agreement on when to cooperate together.   I still keep hoping I’ll snap out of it,  I mean I have several partially started posts in my drafts section,  but the more I have this issue… the more hope I lose every day..      But tonight is a rare spurt of inspiration so here I go..

Childhood memories,  what triggers them?   Things that don’t really mean a whole lot of impact on your life but you still store it away in your memories for some odd reason.   Something that happened to me when I was really young came to mind the other day and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.    I once had a sunflower stolen out of my backyard.   A giant sunflower,  and one I had cared for with my daddy until it had grown taller than I was and could be seen by people driving by as it peered over our fence.   (Ok, maybe it wasn’t that giant, but to a little kid I could have climbed it up as high as Jack did on his beanstalk)    It was in our garden in the backyard of the house I lived in with my parents until I turned 16.   Every year my dad would till our garden and grow things like carrots, beans, and I think once even watermelons.  I have very limited memory of him planting the seeds but I remember the rows of our little crops in the back yard that he made.   I also remember my mom ranting about ‘those damn neighborhood cats’ who would occasionally use our garden as a litter box so my dad cared for our garden meticulously and everything we grew looked absolutely gorgeous.     One year he planted a sunflower,  or two I think… if memory serves we well there were two right next to each other on the edge of our vegetable garden.    Dad put up a post to help it grow tall and strong and over time it bloomed into this giant flower filled with seeds.  It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen.     I remember being in awe of it watching it grow and then eagerly looking forward to the day we were going to harvest those seeds, roast them and eat them.

I remember going to church one Sunday morning and thinking about my sunflowers all through the service.  Every day I would contemplate if this was the day my dad and I would remove the seeds from our flowers.   We did a lot of little projects together like this, and it was those things that I have cherished and will continue to cherish for a lifetime.    When church let out we headed home,  but on the way we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a treat.  There was this cool viewing window where people could watch the donuts being freshly made.    Also the baker was always happy and waving at us as he glazed or frosted or sprinkled or whatever his current batch of donuts.     It was an iconic Torrance donut shop that years later would serve as a filming spot for the movie “The Wildlife” aka Fast Times at Ridgemont High 2.   Nowadays it’s a car wash and some other business.    Boo…

So we get home and as we pull down the street towards our house I was used to seeing my bright yellow sunflower poking out from over our fence.   It wasn’t there.    My dad pulled the car into the garage and assured me that the post probably fell down so the flower had toppled over under the weight of the large bloom full of seeds.   I remember getting out of the car and running still in my Sunday dress to the backyard where our garden was.    I know I instantly started to cry at what I saw…  SOMEONE had jumped our fence and  flowers had been cut right at the bloom and the big pretty blooms were gone.   Cut with something jagged like a knife.   Cut with no care.   Flower murder.   I was heartbroken!     Whoever had done it knew we weren’t home so perhaps had seen us leave that morning.    At least I like to think that,  otherwise what if someone had climbed over our fence while I was in the backyard playing with my dog?    The whole thing was so callous and cruel.    I still wonder who would do such a thing,  see a sunflower from the street and decide to go steal it.     I hope they felt even just a little bit of guilt over stealing that flower from a little girl and her father.    At that time it meant the world to me and having it stolen was an awful feeling.    After all the care that my dad and I had put into helping it grow so tall and healthy to have someone just show up and slice it off and take it away just broke my little heart.

Maybe someday I’ll try to grow another sunflower in my daddy’s honor.   Do all the things he did to help it get as big and healthy as possible.   God help me though, if someone dares steal this one they’ll have to deal with my wrath!  Not only from 44 year old Stacey but also from that little girl whose heart was broken all those years ago when her first flower was taken by a selfish person,  on a SUNDAY of all days..  !

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