In my teen years, I had twenty surgeries, from head to toe. I was dressed in plaster for high my school graduation and my collage graduation. My mother was dressed in teal and yellow and white. She always dressed up for each surgery. She would enter the hospital as hopeful as a spring morning. You know those mornings when you are a kid, summer vacation just beginning, a slight hint of spring in the morning air, but you knew this day, this morning would bring with it the warmth of joy and endless possibilities — that’s how my mother entered my hospital room.
I see these colors now, and I can only look up. That’s what she gave me, you see, hope. I have carried it in those colors every day. Carried, it so easily, for nothing is lighter than joy.
Flowers come burst into our yard each spring, wild in the best sense. Free and wild. I had to google them to see what they were. Jonquils. Jonquils – I smiled. That’s what he called her, in the hospital elevator, my mother – dressed in the hope of spring. He could see her beauty, and he named it – Jonquil.
I liked that I had (have) a word for this beauty. That she had it. I hope she still carries it with her, as I do.
I walk past the flowers now and I am filled with the air of youth. I capture the colors on canvas. The smell of hope is in the air as this near-summer day begins, I smile, and can only look up.