I was in my second foster home. I really wanted to make this foster home work. The first foster home was a disaster with a witch of a foster mother with her duplicitous holy-roller lying bullshit. From there, I was sent to a group home; which I liked but the local school system was horrible, and I did care about my education.
When I was sent to interview with the Gerdes’, Mrs. Gerdes was very kind with a big, doughy Scandinavian moonfaced and cheerful smile that warmed me as soon as I met her. Duplicitous bitch Schmilloler, foster mother 1, was a stone-faced, hair-sprayed bouffant bitch who never smiled. I could tell immediately that Mrs. Gerdes wanted to help me. Teenage girls are the hardest to place in the foster system……read: hormones, hormones, hormones! Read: difficult, difficult, difficult. That wasn’t me. I pretty much kept to myself, my music and my school work; and when I could, I’d get a part-time job. I was no slacker.
My foster parents went to church every Sunday. They went to a Lutheran Church. The Department of Social Services frowns on foster parents taking foster children to churches of different denominations than that of their birth. Well, I had been baptized and made communion as a catholic but when I was able to form my own thoughts and opinions, I realized that the catholic church is full of a lot of bullshit and left. The Gerdes’ invited me to church with them every week. I declined. They never pushed. They always brought home bagels and Sunday yummies.
I was so lonely while they away. This was odd. Here I was….a girl who had had to be on her own, left to her own devices at a young age alone so so so many times in unsafe locations – now I was in a safe location but lonely. However, a month passed, and I did not go to church.
Spring came. I wanted to do something nice for my foster mother who had been being so gentle with me…..letting me talk when I wanted, letting me have space when I needed. While they were at church, I walked the 4 blocks to the town center, to the hardware store and bought flower seeds. I quickly went out to the backyard….hurrying to try to complete my project before the family came home.
My foster mother had a lovely small pond in the small backyard of the modest cottage colonial we lived in. There was a circle of dirt around the pond but nothing growing there. I dug up the dirt; loosened the soil…..this, from a girl from poverty who never planted a flower, seed or had a clue what she was doing ….I loosened the soil all around the pond. Oh boy….so many stones in the soil. I removed them and tossed them in a bucket. Then I planted the seeds, covered them up and watered them.
Shortly thereafter, the family came home. I was so excited to show my foster mother my gift to her. Excited to please her. I asked her….”Mom”….because eventually, foster kids wind up calling the foster mother ‘mom’….and it never stops being a weird thing …..”Mom, come out back, I have something to show you!”
We went to the back.
Then my foster mother started to cry.
These were not happy tears.
“Oh my, honey, what did you do? You dug up all of my tulip and daffodil bulbs? They’re just going to die now”
There was nothing to say. Nothing for my foster mother to say. Nothing for me to say other than how sorry I was.
There was nothing.
Nothing but a void.
And no flowers.