Saturday, December 6, 2008

There is a park nearby, right on the edge of a pretty little pond. Seven years ago the Compassionate Friends group from a nearby city carved out a little corner and dedicated a Christmas Box Angel statue (also known as the Angel of Hope). There are 100 of these statues nationally, and they are inspired by this beautiful little story called the Christmas Box. (if you like this blog, you would like that book. It is lovely)

Anyhow, the park is very pretty and has dedicated bricks from when it was installed, a pretty gazebo, and scattered benches. Liam and I were waiting there for Aoife and Greg this morning, we were having a rendez-vous after I had taken Liam ski shopping and before he left to help a friend move.
The pond had a thin layer of ice on it, which probably formed last week, and since then the water level had dropped substantially. There was incredible cracking and moaning from the ice as the edges had clung to the surrounding earth and vegetation and were now sinking to meet the level of the water. Liam and I found some steps and went down them, and sat by the edge quietly together and listened to the ice thunder and ricochet. It was very, very cold and crisp.

From where we were sitting, we saw Greg and Aoife come around the corner, so we walked up the steps and back through the little park and statue area. I noticed that the top was off of the trash can, and being rather type-A I wanted to replace it, because it looked disorganized and messy to have the lid off the can. So I walked over, and picked it up as I walked, and put it back on top. It was an Oscar-the-Grouch type of can, metal and rusty, but kind of vintage looking. As I turned to walk away the orange graffiti on the top caught my eye, and I accidentally read it:

No dead babys

This is what it said on the top of the trash can. This is what some teenage asshole decided would be a funny joke in a park dedicated to the memory of people's children. The irony of it all is, since it is a Compassionate Friends sponsored statue, the bricks are primarily dedicated to older children. But this kid decided to focus on the younger lot: no dead babys. It made my blood boil.

I remembered when we placed Charlotte's little stone on the side of the Mill River trail, and Greg worried about this. "What if someone defaces it?" he asked. "What if they put graffiti on it?"

I answered, "Who would do that?"

I didn't mention it to Greg. I didn't want him to see it. Not because it would inspire fear for our own memorial, but just because it lowered my faith in mankind to see those words.

So I went across the street to the studio sale I had been planning to go to and spent $500 on lamps. But they are really cool lamps. Isn't that the type of thing people who make one teacher's salary should do? It made me feel great. I never even buy myself new socks or underwear (I can sew up a little hole here and there) but I bought these beautiful lamps. Is this what they call retail therapy?

I think the next time I return to the park I will bring some paint and paint over that graffiti.


Hope's Mama said...

I wish I could come with you and help you Carol!

And I love those lamps!

Meg said...

Some people can be such jerks! I'm sorry you had to see that. I love the lamps, by the way. Sometimes you just gotta buy what you like. If you don't do it that often, it's ok. :-)

Andrew's Mama said...

What a precious, beautiful, and strong person you are....bravo on finding your lights. They are lovely. I so hope that you remove that terrible message. Such a hurtful expression in a place where parents and children should be honored and welcomed.

CLC said...

I am dumbfounded that people could be that ignorant.
I hope you can remove it.

And I love the lamps!

Mama said...

Oh Carol...

I cannot believe someone would be so heartless and vicious! Did you call the town hall or police? Not sure what they would be able to do, maybe monitor around there more?

Of course I love your lamps! Anything you have to remind you of Charlotte is so important!

Melanie said...

When I first read what was painted, I thought it meant the person was against the death of babies. Maybe I'm more of an optimist than I thought.