A mother who lays flowers at scene of her daughter’s death every year was stunned when a complete stranger penned her a poem after seeing her annual tribute.
Sharon Green has laid flowers at the roadside where her 13-year-old daughter Rebecca was run over every year since her death in 1996.
But this year when she went to leave her floral tribute, she found that a stranger had written a poem about her.
Thanks to social media, Sharon was put in touch with Peter Fearnley, who had spotted the flowers each year on his way to work and wanted to pay his respects.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Sharon said on January 20 each year she lays flowers as a reminder to drivers of Rebecca’s death.
“When I got there this year there was an A4 piece of paper laminated with the most wonderful verse,” she said.
She said at first she thought the paper may be a council notice telling her not to leave the flowers but her husband Adrian read it and realised it was a kind gesture from a complete stranger.
“We were just overwhelmed to think that someone would go and put so much effort into writing the most beautiful verse ever,” she said.
“It’s absolutely wonderful and I can’t believe someone has been driving past the last 20 years and taking note that the flowers were there. It’s just absolutely beautiful.”
Good to speak to @tobyfoster on the @BBCSheffield Breakfast Show this morning about my song Flowers on the Railings and the wonderful lady who inspired it. I’m amazed and a bit overwhelmed by the response. The full version of the song is here https://t.co/1MWpX41QF2 pic.twitter.com/A55OcP0Z6V— Peter Fearnley (@peterfearnley) January 24, 2020
She asked her daughter to share it on Facebook so she could thank the secret poet, then discovered that Peter Fearnley, who had written the verse, had actually made it into a song previously and shared it on YouTube.
The pair were put in touch and now she has been able to thank him in person.
Peter told BBC Radio Sheffield that he wrote the poem in 2018 as song lyrics and had previously hoped it would get back to Sharon after being shared online.
But when that didn’t work he decided to laminate the verse and leave it for her to find.
“I drive past Penistone Road every day on my way to work - I’d seen the flowers there and thought it was a really touching tribute and always felt moved when I saw them.”
As a songwriter, he said it was only natural to try to put those feelings into verse.
He remembered the date of the anniversary as it is close to his wife’s birthday and was “delighted” when he saw the A4 paper had been removed.
“I thought this was going to be an anonymous tribute and I never expected this would happen,” he said.
He said he and Sharon’s daughter had spoken privately on Facebook, and later added on Twitter: “I’m amazed and a bit overwhelmed by the response.”