A nickel. A feather. A pinwheel. Little red candies rest upon a white cross bearing the name of Janet Steinbach’s son, Adam, stabbed to death on May 31, 2011 at age 29. Where his body was found now blooms a bed of colorful flowers tended by a grieving mother and watched over by the homeless, who have made it a place to grieve for their own losses, too.
As Janet attends to this oasis on Del Paso Boulevard by the bike trail, she feels her son’s presence. Every hug and kind word from a passer-by soothes her. She says she is growing by leaps and bounds, becoming more like Adam, who was non-judgmental and had a smile for everyone. Grateful for the outpouring of support she receives at the memorial, she now volunteers at Sacramento Self-Help Housing at Loaves and Fishes. “I feel like he’s teaching me to be a better person,” she says.