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I have a painting in the master bedroom of the house my husband and I have shared for sixty-three years. It sits on a trunk, below a nail, looking for all the world as if we mean to hang it, and next to it is a set of paints and a brush. It doesn’t resemble anything – it is a collage of many colors, painted on with a careful hand. About sixty-two years ago, my husband’s curiosity got the better of him one night when I was adding a new color.
“What exactly are you painting?”
“Love.” He looked at me, blue eyes filled with questions, so I laid down my brush and gestured for him to sit. “I’m painting our love.
“Blue like the sky the first time I saw you sitting on that bench when I jogged by.
“Red for your shirt the first day I had the courage to sit next to you.
“You asked me out using a series of yellow notes in my locker.
“Pink is for the lip-gloss I wore when you first took me to the movies.
“Fuchsia, the color I turned when my cell phone rang and it was you, the first guy to ever call me.
“Pale cream, the color I bleached to when I dialed you back.
“Rose, the color of my cheeks when you first kissed me.
“Chestnut, the color of hair I brushed out of your eyes the first time I invited you to my house.
“Green, for the asparagus my mom cooked the night I brought you to meet my parents.
“Blue, the color my shoes were before I fell in the river the first time you took me fishing. Brown for the color they were after.
“White, the color of the roses you always give me.
“Grey, the color of my tears the first time we fought, and then your shirt as you held me close and apologized.
“Amber, the color oozing out of the tree we carved our initials into.
“Orange, the tint of the leaves falling off our tree the night you proposed.
“Purple is the color I chose for the roses in my wedding bouquet.
“Silver adorned my dress and veil.
“Gold rings for both of us.
“Bright red “SOLD” emblazoned on the sign out front when we bought our first house, and two years later, this one.
“Light pink on the pregnancy test.
“Clear glossy tears of joy.
“Faded green changing hands as we exchanged wrinkled bills for baby preparations, that’s the color I’m adding now.
“And so many more colors to come.” Tears glistened in his eyes and he smiled.
“Are we ever going to hang it?” I laughed and held his hand.
“Our kids can hang it when we’re dead, because as long as I am alive to love you, it will never be done.”