top of page

Marigolds, The Flowers of Possibility

Brandon couldn’t get to the cemetery fast enough. The day had gotten away from him, with work and the drama with Eunice. All he wanted to do was put it all behind him and get there in once piece. But it wouldn’t be easy because the hurricane headed their way was creating gridlock on the highway.

Of course, this would happen, today of all days, he thought to himself. He sat in the backseat of the luxury car he’d rented for the week he was in town. “I’m sorry Sir,” Aaron, his driver spoke to him from the front seat. “GPS says 20 minutes, but the cars aren’t budging.” It was 6pm and the cemetery was going to close in 30 minutes. Brandon peered out of his back seat window, and not caring about his $4k suit, he lurched his head out to see if there was any end in sight to the traffic. He let out a frustrated sigh as he pulled back in, defeated. He wiped the wetness off his face and cleaned his glasses with the handkerchief in his pocket.

This was all fake, he thought. This suit, this car, Eunice, his marriage, their life. How had he gotten so far away from himself? They’d returned from Paris arguing, as they always did lately. He’d wanted to make amends, forgive yet another of her indiscretions. But after they arrived back in New York and he was faced with the hauntings of his previous life, he realized one tremendous truth-that his marriage was a farce. When his novel sold in Europe, one major book tour turned into another book that sold worldwide. His stories of troubled 90s teens brought to him fans his age that lived during the 90210 era and his words brought back the nostalgia of their youth.

Brandon met Eunice at a book party for another author and he’d been captivated by her world of society and fashion. With her he traveled to fashion shows, walked red carpets and with his money and hers they wined and dined at every incredible restaurant all over Paris, London, Rome.

The downhill turn of events began when his first novel, Girls in White Dresses was being adapted to a Hollywood film. He got caught up in fame and money and his previous life seemed to fade away. Growing up poor in New York City, he’d never thought money could bring him as much joy as it had. He was raised by a single mother, he had two brothers and they all grown up sharing one room. Their father died in a car accident shortly after Brandon was born and as the youngest, he had no memory of his father. Brandon remembered making his mother many promises when he was a boy. They’d walk through the Bronx Zoo, on the special days that admission was free and he’d look around at all the flowers.

“Mama I’m going to buy you gardens and houses and all the animals can be in your own zoo.” She’d hold his hand and smile, her long dark hair sparkling in the breeze. She’d call out to the other boys as they wandered ahead to make sure they weren’t in any trouble. She would squeeze little Brandon’s hand. “Oh honey, as long as you get me flowers as beautiful as those marigolds over there, my garden would be complete with those alone.”

Brandon remembered looking over to see the most captivating golden flowers he had ever laid eyes on. They were something special, and he vowed to make sure he always got his mother the very special marigolds, anything that would make her smile.

As beautiful as she was Brandon remembered how much sadness painted her features. She loved her sons, but this was not the life she thought that she would have. Losing her husband had made them homeless for a while and after a couple of years in shelters they finally had a small apartment through the help of a government program. But her job as a waitress could only provide the bare minimum, and they were never well off.

When Brandon got older on each one of his mother's birthdays, and on Mother's Day he gave her a beautiful bouquet of flowers that he afforded by saving from his part time job to be able to present her with her special marigolds. Tears would fall from her eyes every time he gave her the special flower. She said they always reminded her of the carefree days at the zoo with her sons when she could focus only on them and not on the troubles of her life. Marigolds symbolized possibilities and an escape from sadness.

Brandon sat back and put his head in his lap. He knew his mother now lived as an angel alongside his father. The visits to the cemetery were therapeutic and something just for him and his brothers. But he glanced down at the seat beside him, at the beautiful bouquet of flowers with the golden marigolds in the center and knew he had to get to the cemetery before they closed. Today of all days he needed to be near his mother; he needed to escape the sadness through the golden flowers.

“Aaron,” he called to the driver, with one hand on the door, flowers in the other,” I can’t wait; meet me in the front.” Before Aaron realized what was happening, Brandon was out of the car and running. His feet splashed through the puddles, his body darted in and out between cars. Startled drivers and passengers glared at him through windows, into the eyes of the crazed man battling the storm.

With every step he thought of his childhood, his mother working long hours, taking care of everything he and his brothers is needed. As he ran and was drenched with the downpour that was the storm, he pictured his life with Eunice, the money meaning nothing, the world of fame and celebrity tearing him farther away from who he really was. As he ran through the streets and approached the gates of where his mother lay resting, Brandon thought of the last time he saw his mother alive.

It was the day he was going to leave for Europe, and she’d been so proud of him. She embraced him, her love was pure and flowed through every part of him, and it would carry him through the next journey of his life. He'd been in Europe only a couple of months when she had her heart attack. Twenty-seven years on the planet was not enough time to spend with the one woman who had given her life to him.

All he ever wanted was to buy her the marigold, to build that garden, to buy her a house, to repay everything she had ever done. She was gone too soon and he because of it he disappeared into a world that took him away from the pain. But he needed her, he needed a way back. He was tired of running away. Now, he was running toward something, perhaps a new beginning.

There he stood, winds circling leaves around him, darkness overhead, but his smile was bright even as the tears fell. His mother’s grave greeted him; the shiny gray slab seemed to sparkle as her hair once did.

“Lola Greenwood, A mother, Loved, and Always Will Be.”

She was only there in spirit, her sweet voice lived only in his mind. But her love still lived through him. He knew now that home was where he belonged, where his fresh start lay. He held the flowers in his hand and placed them on her grave. The marigolds stood in the center as though they were a crown for a queen. Brandon placed his hand on the ground, the cool wet earth comforting him, welcoming him. “Hi Mama. Happy Birthday.”

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

I could still see the scuff marks on the floor where the hospital bed had been wheeled away. The rubber parts of the wheels were no match for the wooden floor and yet try as I might, the dark spots on

Janine examined her reflection in the full-length mirror. Nordstrom's was having a holiday sale, so this was the perfect time to buy a dress for the funeral, that is if she was still going. Her friend

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page