Maricella On My Mind
A troubled young girl with an arresting smile.
For privacy reasons, I’m naming her Maricella.
Over a period of time and lots of bonding, lovely Maricella entrusted me with her deepest secrets.
She revealed stories of severe neglect and other egregious abuses and violations much too graphic to express here.
In mere days, Maricella was transported to a medical facility for needed treatment and counseling support.
I visited Maricella often.
And she waited for my visit every single day.
The nurses would frequently pull me aside to let me know I was all Maricella would often ask or talk about.
Then Maricella would take me by the hand and lead me to her room; a room she shared with a tween girl who readily recounted her own tales of family strife.
I’d sit with both girls for as long as visiting hours would allow.
I’d ask them about their day and their morning activities.
Both girls loved sharing their art projects and paintings with me.
Man, I loved her too.
So so much.
Hidden letters, doodled joy
On each of my visits, I’d secretly slip a small letter or note under Maricella’s pillow when she wasn’t looking.
Each mini letter — which I’d quickly scribble either at home or right from the parking lot before my visit — contained marker and ballpoint pen doodles, like this one of her shared below 👇🏾.
The idea, and my hope, was that Maricella would ultimately find my stashed doodles around her bedtime and that upon discovering them, perhaps my silly drawings and tiny poems would make her smile or feel a moment of joy right before falling asleep.
Mostly, I wanted Maricella to know she was dearly loved and never forgotten.
At one point, she even started making specific doodling requests lol.
She wanted me to doodle some of her favorite cartoon characters, so I did.
Another time she asked me to render her in certain fashionable styles, so I did that too.
All stories come to their end.
At some point, Maricella was reunited with her family and they eventually moved away.
Though she’s very much gone now, I’ll always remember Maricella with tremendous love and endless affection.
This experience taught me that a scribbled little drawing or doodle can evoke a moment of great joy, even when the rendering is messily made from a parked vehicle and a crowded hospital parking lot xo.