Eight years is too short a life — Marilyn had only just begun to live when her curtain was drawn. You wonder how to make sense from this travesty, this perversion, this anomaly of life’s cycle.
Standing before her grave, across from Marilyn’s mom, awash in tears, the June summer day joyful despite this darkness, you contemplate next steps. What would be the comfort for Marilyn’s mom? Is it dismissive to even thin of serenity when so much has been lost?
In 2012, on the date of Marilyn’s birth, the same souls at this funeral, had gathered to celebrate the birth of Joni and Brenton’s daughter. You had not known Marilyn yet, she was an unformed pink blanketed babe, with her scrunched up body and smooshed face, reposing in the sun’s warmth.
Marilyn’s mom, looking beatific, had stood, shovel in hand, beside Marilyn’s dad, as they prepared to plant these specially chosen day lilies to honour their babe. This had been the first time you had been introduced to “Marilyn’s Dimples,” those daylily beauties with their yellow gold petals surrounding dramatic, dark maroon eyes. Known as ‘showy’ flowers, they relished full sun to partial shade, bodaciously blooming.
With a blending of mournfulness and mindfulness, your heart filled with trepidation merely contemplating the removal of those now-dreaded daylilies — lilies to be dug, dragged dismissively from Joni and Brenton’s garden — distributed like a loot bag for each funeral attendee. “Marilyn’s Dimples,” were persona non grata: Joni and Brenton would not, could not, maintain “Marilyn’s Dimples,” in. their garden’s soil.
You have chosen the perfect spot for “Marilyn’s Dimples,” a plot, centrally displayed among your decorative grasses, where blessed by the beatific sun, bounded by the tall waving fronds, Marilyn will thrive. Your memory fixes on all the times wee Marilyn had helped you in your plot, questioning, monitoring, absorbing which plants to pull, which plants to protect. Now it will be up to you to protect your own Marilyn beauty.
Returning the Joni and Brenton’s backyard, each guest retired in secret to harvest their daylily. As you shovel, you can feel Joni’s eyes boring into your back.
With a deep breath, you paint a calm expression on your face, warmly embracing first Joni then Brenton, before turning away, grasping Garry’s sweaty hand on the walk to your sedan.
In the car, buffeted by the cold shrill air, your head rests back, your eyes close, your ears listening to Garry manoeuvring you safely home. Once inside your foyer, you strip out of the dark uniform, changing into your gardening togs, a weight lifted from your shoulders. You’re so ready to transplant Marilyn in her new home.
It’s a relief to throw your consciousness into preparing this hole, adding rich loam, patting the soil around the daylily, watering her reverently with root strengthening serum. Resting your chin on your shovel, your eyes wander over to Marilyn, beaming in the sunshine, nestled amongst the decorative grasses.
Oh, “Marilyn’s Dimples,” seem to seamlessly joining this garden community. Even when you sit upon your deckchair, or if you cuddle on a love-seat in your three-season room, your gaze is hypnotically drawn to Marilyn. Her place is a focal point, truly one of honour. Marilyn’s blooms fill your favourite crystal vase with vivid colours, a gentle reminder of the splendid legacy of little Marilyn.
Author Notes: I'm experimenting with 2nd person POV--welcome feedback.