Pink Hydrangeas

November 2, 2016
I did not have an easy childhood. I’m not saying my parents didn’t try to give me a good life. They did. They worked extra hours, day in day out, all so I could have the best childhood possible. They did this for my siblings too of course. I was the runt of the litter. I had two older brothers and three older sisters, and my parents had to support them all. That being said, we didn’t have a lot of room for unnecessary items. We basically lived paycheck to paycheck.
Our birthdays were never extravagant. A pathetic looking homemade card and some dollar store items is all we could afford. In other words, it was nothing like you saw in the movies. I didn’t get a sports car the day I turned sixteen, nor a pony the day I turned four. Needless to say, I was disappointed. At school, I always listened to my friends brag about the puppies they received or their trips to Disney World. The only thing I could ever brag about was my cheap glow in the dark flashlight. But, there was one year, one year where I received more than just the usual junk. I remember the day to a tee.
It was my tenth birthday and saying I was excited would be an understatement. Double digits is a big deal for a nine year old. It marks the beginning of the next step towards becoming an adult. I was eager for my father to return home so I could open my presents and reveal the excitement that would last me hours. He was coming from the local grocery store, where he had picked up a part time shift, working until 7. Walking home took thirty minutes, so I was expecting him to walk through the door as soon as the minute hand showed thirty after. After all, my father was a punctual man. He was never more than a minute or two late to anything, no matter the occasion. After I realized five minutes had passed, I watched the clock with anticipation. Every second that passed felt like hours. Another ten minutes had gone by, with absolutely no sign of my father. At this point I had started to become concerned. I frantically paced around our small galley kitchen as dozens of horrible scenarios ran through my mind. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without a father to hold. That’s when I heard the lock twisting, and the rusty door knob started to turn. I raced towards the front door, barely giving my father the opportunity to step inside before I bombarded him with questions and attacked him with one of my mighty, embracing hugs. That’s when I caught a whiff of a sweet, invigorating, floral essence. It smelled like the beginning of spring, when everything starts to bloom. The time when the grass gets greener, the weather gets warmer, and the birds start chirping their heavenly tune once more. As I backed away, I noticed he was holding something in his hand. It was full of vibrant colors that popped against our utterly dull interior decor. It was a bouquet of flowers. The most beautiful bouquet of flowers that I had ever laid eyes on. Tears of pure joy started rolling down my red cheeks. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I looked at the beautiful creation. It included a variety of all types of flowers, ranging from lilies to roses, but the one that caught my eye was a beautiful pink hydrangea positioned perfectly in the center of the arrangement. That flower mesmerized me for days to come. I simply couldn’t stop staring at it’s beauty. My father had created for me, the best day of my life.
Now I’m old and living by myself. My parents have passed away and my siblings have gone off to experience lives of their own. When I start to feel lonely I stare at the wall. I stare at the old, dried, pink hydrangea hanging on my wall and I am young again. I stare at the pink hydrangea and I am instantly brought back to the best day of my life.

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