she had a love of forsythia. i can see why now, it being the first of happy-hopeful-yellow-spring that bursts forth first. during the early New England springtime confusion, winter still clings to us out of desperation. patches of dirty snow are too stubborn to leave our shady woods.
she’d place us, her three babies, infront of her huge forsythia each spring. wild and unruly blossoming yellow branches shooting off like fireworks in every direction. toothless grins on little me and braces and headgear on my brothers.
forsythia is a happy childhood memory with a white swinging gate that led to her garden beds and my willow treehouses decorated with the smell of wild onions. weather too warm for winter coats yet still chilly to our cheeks.
forsythia arrives first and therefore it is celebrated. cut with scissors and put in vases throughout the house. windowsills that overlook the side yard where she’d watch her children play.
a year ago we walked together and she knew enough to remember the name forsythia. rolling it off her tongue in repetition like the name of a long lost friend. for-sythia. a woman who knew her well. the first one to arrive in spring. for-sythia.
this year he shows her my photography in the magazine, pointing out the blooms of early spring. the photos i took with her by my side on that cold day that had us confused. she was wondering why we were there, standing before the glorious blooms, and i was still needing her to be something she couldn’t. i hadn’t yet realized it’s ok to let go.
this year he reads her my words, the ones i wrote for her, and she cries real tears. after four years of picks disease stealing emotion from her, she cries… lost in her mind yet still knowing what is love. her memories can be mine, shared in my re-telling of her story.
love is when spring arrives.