Criticized for Her 'Eyesore' Yard, This Mom Has a Message for Others As Her Son Battles Cancer
"Maybe the owner of this note might see this. And maybe not. But either way I feel this might touch someone and that is enough in itself."
A mom from Pinson, Alabama named Randa Ragland has her hands full. Her 3-year-old son Jaxen, who has autism and is nonverbal, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer in October of last year, just days before his birthday. The little boy has been to the hospital over 20 times since last fall and has endured more than seven surgeries. As if that wasn't enough, in the midst of caring for her sick son and raising her four other children, Ragland received a nasty note from an anonymous neighbor.
"Your eyesore is affecting the resale value of our homes," the handwritten letter read. "Who wants to buy a house near you and look at that daily? It does not take that much effort, all you have to do is give a [expletive]. Do better!!!"
Ragland told CBS42, "I opened it and it was pretty much [the sender] shaming me for my yard. At first, I felt a little angry. But so much has been going on with us and our family. I just didn’t have the energy to be negative."
Although she initially hesitated to post the note, Ragland ultimately decided to post it privately, and then let her friend Kimberly Davis Quick post it publicly, alongside a note in which Ragland wrote, "I say all of this to say. Try being kind to your neighbor or the stranger you let in when there’s traffic. Say hello to people. Just kindness. It’s crazy how things like this can truly change a person. Because just a year ago. I would [have] been so angry from this note. But I truly don’t have the energy for that kind of negativity. Maybe the owner of this note might see this. And maybe not. But either way I feel this might touch someone and that is enough in itself."
It's unclear whether the author of the note saw Ragland's response, but plenty of people in her community did, which is all that matters. People came together to start a Facebook group called "Jaxen's Army for Justice," community members collected donations for Jaxen's care, and about 30 people showed up at the family's home on Saturday, August 4 to do household chores and maintenance.
"They started this group for my son," Ragland told Yahoo Lifestyle. "It is wonderful knowing people do still care, and that not every one is self-absorbed. It is so awesome that it has happened. No one should go through this alone."
If you want to support Randa Ragland and her son Jaxen in their fight, you can donate on the family's GoFundMe.