Before Fargo was a movie, I had to go there for surgery. Underage, my mom brought me in our GPS-less, blue station wagon. This was a lesson in courage. Now, you might think I’m talking about myself. No. It didn’t take a lot of courage for me because I was mostly sedated, and fully taken care of in the ever-bright whiteness of the hospital. My mother had to go out into the dark, find her way, not to a hotel, because we didn’t have that kind of money, but to a hostel of sorts for relatives of hospital patients. Alone, and tired, she had to navigate in the dark into the non-sterile world of those also waiting. This is bravery. This is why she was always the first person I looked for when opening my eyes. And she was always there.
Years later, the Ronald McDonald House Charities called me, inquiring about my yellow house painting. Ronald McDonald Houses are now located throughout the world, for people, just like my mother, waiting for patients in hospitals. They are safe and bright and a world different from what my mother had to stay in. Of course I wanted my painting in their houses. Of course I wanted to hang the original in the Minneapolis house. Of course I wanted all those who had to enter to feel like, for this one moment in time, they weren’t alone in the dark, but they were home.
We are given everything we need to survive, and the tools to help others. The gifts and answers are as bright and simple and specific and as welcoming as the yellow paint on that house. Come in, you and your heart sit down.