When I was nine, I was being molested by my mother’s boyfriend. That was the same time I fell in love with daisies. Daisies aren’t particularly beautiful but I loved them with all my nine year old soul. As the abuse escalated so did my love for daisies. I watched them return, not just return, but thrive year after year, to my neighbor’s garden no matter what the Alaska weather did to them. Daisies were so strong and resilient and simple, the opposite of my life at the time. I decided I needed to make them mine. Norma Goodman, my neighbor at the time, worked in the morning so I hatched my plan. I would leave my house ten minutes before my bus came and pluck them from her yard, replant them in my yard and fix my fucked up life. I casually walked over to her yard and grabbed three. In hind sight, dear Norma would have probably given me a bushel, had I just asked but with abuse comes shame and worthlessness. I ran back to the side of my yard and cramped the three daisies into the frigid dirt then quickly ran back to catch my bus. At the time I “stole” the flowers I had no idea about the intricacies of replanting flowers.
The whole bus ride to school I imagined those three wilted daisies would grow into a thousand daisies and create a field for me to run, jump and, more importantly, escape my life. I have always loved daisies. Snow fell and the daisies died. I was devastated, not remembering that everything dies in the winter months, including my sprit.
My mother’s relationship with her police officer boyfriend continued as did the solitary existence of my abuse. I was weak and afraid of life during this period, not realizing that a child of nine or ten is not supposed to be able to fend for themselves.
Then one day it happened, I was standing on my front porch. The sun was shining and break-up was nearly complete. I looked down from my front porch and my three daisies had returned. They returned! I was so joyful I almost missed my bus that morning. The return of my daisies showed me that I could conquer anything, even sexual abuse. It showed me that even though I wasn’t strong yet, I could be. My daisies gave me hope that my life could be better and soon after it became better.
I often find myself losing hope during this period of my life. I expect everything to be good, perfect, easy, even though I just lost the love of my life. I don’t give hope enough value. I don’t hold it dear. The reality of life is only made worse by the lack of hope. I forget that everything changes. I forget that hope is available whenever I need it to be. I often forget about “my” daisies. I forget that I am a daisy, not perfect like a rose, not awe insipring like a tulip, but a daisy. A slightly off center, always crooked daisy. Daisies are pretty in their own way, unique. I am not even one of those fancy Gerbera Daisies. I am just a plain, resilient, hopeful daisy and, as corny as it sounds, I hope to one day regrow.