Garbage Flowers


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As the strange man leaned down to inspect the tires, I followed, hoping I could push him even closer to see that the tread was in bad shape. I imagined pulling him aside, away from my eager parents, and whispering in his ear that this automobile would shoot him uncontrollably down the country road, flames rocketing from the hood, leading to his most certain death.

But that’s not how he saw it at all. He handed my parents an envelope full of cash and they offered up the keys. Knowing this was goodbye, I ran to the end of the yard to grab some garbage flowers – named for growing next to our trash cans, guarded from raccoons with bricks on the lids. As the man turned the key and the brake lights flashed red against my leg, I tucked the handful of weeds into the gas tank lid. My mom pulled me back away from the car and said “Did you put those there?”

I tried to mumble a reply, but tears swelled and I dug my head into her waist. She smiled at me and said, “That’s so sweet. You’ve always hated saying goodbye, huh?” The car drove away. That was the first time I realized that I hate change.

It wasn’t ‘til a few years ago that I really understood why.



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I’ve spent most of my childhood and adult years avoiding change. I finally was forced to address this resistance when I was lost my job in the 2008 recession. No longer could I cling to the idea of what life should be; change was inevitable. I spent those two years learning to accept the uncertainty that each day brought. It was tough at first. Many lonely days were spent motionless and anxiety attacks were frequent, but as time passed this feeling of uncertainty started to lose its grip. I started to wake up each morning embracing change as an adventure. I made new friends, rediscovered dancing and I started a blog to help pass the time between job applications. I guess I could’ve given up and sunk into the creases of the couch, but instead it felt absolutely necessary to finally accept change.

When I look back now at that day when my parents sold our car I understand why I hated change so much. I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I have no control over what will happen tomorrow and I didn’t want to admit that I’d never be able to hold on to anything, no matter how hard I try.

Everything is always going to change.

And now I’m choosing it. Because it’s come to the point that standing still hurts more than moving forward. If everything goes to plan, you’ll see it happen right here. Wish us luck.

One Response to Garbage Flowers

  1. mom reuther says:

    I loved this! It brought back so many memories of years gone by. I have found that many young people have the same thoughts and feelings. Life is always an adventure! Good luck little one!!!!!!!

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