Red Is Best

I was just a little girl when I walked with my daddy to the far back of the yard where the rose bushes were then. They were his rose bushes. He wanted them only for one reason. Because of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If your mother was living, you wore a red rose pinned to your collar to Sunday School on Mother’s Day. Same with fathers.

The grass was wet, the air had a May chill to it, and the warmth of sun melted in on top of it. I remember Dad’s crisp, polished suit and wingtips. I remember my flowered dress and scratchy petticoat and the dew on my white patent shoes. I wore white silky socks then with my dressy shoes. The skin of my legs showing between the socks and the cotton flowers of my dress was scarred, bruised, and scabbed because I was a tomboy. Dad clipped a rose for my dress, and that silky fresh bud seemed foreign to those skinned up legs.

But I knew what red was back then. I never thought there’d be a day when I wouldn’t wear red. Red meant love and life and taught me what family was. Red was safety and security and somebody who would always be there to love me. Red was a father who thought red was important. Red was a mother who was dearly loved and who gave in sacrifice to her loved ones. Red was the best color ever.

Now there is no red.

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