Did you know marigold flowers are said to attract the souls of the dead? I found that out on Google. I like to look up random facts to help me pass the time. Time moves so much slower now. Today when I went to Google my random fact I felt like maybe you were sending me a sign. Like you wanted me to find out about the marigolds and their true meaning.
I hate flowers. When you would buy them for me just because I would ask you why you choose to spend your money on something we both knew would die in less than a week. You'd say "someone so beautiful deserves to look at something equally beautiful." I'd blow you off barely looking at the flowers but today I find myself on the way to the florist. The one that's only 2 blocks from our house. The one that you would buy all those flowers that I would ignore from.
Looking around the small shop, I can barely distinguish a marigold from a rose. Clear confusion must have been written on my face as the florist walks over to me and asks if I need help finding anything. "Marigolds, I need marigolds"
"Aww this is the perfect season to plant marigolds. They blossom late spring until early fall. We have seeds this way"
Late Spring!? It's February. Seeds? I need marigolds now! She can't expect me to grow them on my own. I'm not a plant person. I just want...I just need… "um you don't have any already, you know, blossomed or something? Like can you check the back for some I can just put in a jar?"
"I'm sorry we don't have any at the moment but the seeds are a great way to watch something you cultivate grow into something beautiful" Something beautiful, I thought. I don't want to wait for some seeds to cultivate into something beautiful! I need the marigolds now, however knowing my options for finding marigolds anywhere else in this small town would be nonexistent, I buy the seeds and everything I'd need to plant them in our backyard. You always said you were going to build a man cave in our backyard. I'd laugh saying when you built a man cave I'll start a garden. Flash forward here I am in our backyard watching How to Plant Marigold Seeds on YouTube really planting a garden and there's no man cave to be found. I follow each of the steps in the video until all my seeds are planted and covered with soil. Now what? Water them and wait? Everyday I walk to our backyard wondering how long it will take for the marigolds to carry out their purpose. I mean the seeds should be enough right? But nothing. I can't see you or feel you. So I continue to wait.
It's the end of June. I step outside to our backyard taking in the sea of golden yellow, red and orange. Finding my way to my fully bloomed garden, I locate the spot I purposely left vacant and take a seat in the soil. Engulfed by the overpowering smell of musk from the marigolds, I grow angry as my mind recalls that night late September. " Hey babe, I know I'm running late and you're probably waiting to kill me right now but I stopped and got your favorite ice cream and I promise to give you a full rub down when I get home. No freaky stuff I mean a real massage... unless you want to do something freaky!? Anyway, I love you and I'll be home soon." The voice-mail replays in my mind. As the first stream of hot tears escape my closed eyes, I'm startled by a hand wiping them away. "Hey babe" he whispers "don't cry" I open my eyes to see you sitting in the garden with me. "I can't believe you really planted a garden" he says with a slight smile. I stare in disbelief. Are you finally here? Did the marigolds finally work? I slowly extend my arm and reach for your face. You feel real I thought to myself. "I am real" you say. We sit in silence for a moment, our eyes locked on one another as we take each other in.
"I'm sorry I didn't make it home" you say finally breaking our silence. I could no longer fight the sea of tears I had been holding back as we relived what happened to you that night. "that driver came out of nowhere" he continued "I should have come straight home instead of staying late at the shop. Please forgive me, I never wanted to leave you"
"Forgive you? Oh honey, I never blamed you. I love you. I miss you so much. I miss you so much I planted a garden because Google said marigolds could bring your soul back to me and here you are. I don't want to talk about that night or that idiot drunk driver, I'm just happy you're back!" I said still in shock the marigolds had worked!
"Neither life nor death could keep me from you and a garden full of marigolds could never change that. Even if you can't see me, know I'm always here"
"If I can't see you? Why would I not be able to see you?" I felt the tears begin to resurface. "You can't leave me again" I said tightening my grip around his waist.
"You were so full of life. Spontaneous. Vibrant. You're so much bigger than this small town. You're here because this is what I wanted. Now is your time to be all that you wanted. All that I might have held you back from." Gently pushing my hair out of my face, he picked a marigold from my garden and placed it behind my ear. "You're big. Be Big. I'll always be here." He said as he gently kissed my forehead returning my tight embrace.
A cool breeze cascaded my body waking me from my sleep. I was still in my garden but you were gone. Beside where I lay was a single marigold.
Three Months Later….
I took a job in the city. I didn't even think I'd get it, I applied on a whim. Maybe it was you working your angel thing or something. You did tell me to be big. So here I am being big or at least trying to be. This is my first night in my new apartment in the big city. I look around my new living space and everything feels so unfamiliar. Where my window used to bring in the sounds of the crickets and fireflies at night, I now hear a bustling city. Tired of unpacking I decide to take a walk and clear my mind. I miss walking with you but I think you'd be proud of me and this big step I'm taking. As turn the corner of my block I see a small coffee shop I hadn't noticed before. I can't help be smile as I read the name Marigold Coffee the logo being a huge marigold of course. A tear escaped as I read the slogan "We're always here." "And I'll always love you" I whispered.