It’s true that I have no sense of direction. I can have a GPS and a map in front of me and still get lost. This particular shortcoming also means that my brain doesn’t automatically record and connect all the places that I have been on some master map for later reference. For example, when I go someplace, I generally take the same route. But occasionally I discover a spot I’ve come across before from the other direction, and it kind of amazes me. I guess the world isn’t quite so big, after all, if I can just happen upon this place again. Or something like that.
So when I was returning from my path wandering the other day, I recognized my friend’s house. It’s hard to miss, in fact, because it’s painted with colors unlike any other house that I’ve ever seen–a sort of guacamole trimmed with papaya. But when I visited her, I was used to driving up San Luis from the Arlington. This time I was walking down San Luis toward the Arlington. So it sort of sneaked up on me.
I hadn’t been there since the day of her memorial service three and a half years ago–a day when, per her request, we all wore bright colors and left the black funeral clothes at home. I myself wore a skirt the color of a Dreamsicle in her honor.
It was too late when they diagnosed her cancer, and she slipped away pretty quickly. But she made it her mission to get her house painted in bright colors before she died. And it did indeed happen in time for her to see it.
The unapologetic cheerful statement made by her color palette brought a smile to my face, even though I was sad that I couldn’t go inside and hang out with her. A lot of happiness, creativity, music, and laughter happened in that house when Deb lived there, and I imagine it still does. Her husband, sons, and grandchildren may not get to spend their days with her any more, but they are surely creating all sorts of new memories on the other side of those incredibly bright walls.
I mean, really. How could anyone live there and not feel Deb’s presence in the very walls urging them to have fun and be happy?