Today I will share a piece of creative writing that is not in my book. Perhaps “Hot Pink” will remind you of something you own—something precious—that you could write about too.
Madelyn F. Young
Most of us have something in our closet we consider our special lounge-around-the-house outfit. It may be old and unattractive but something so comfortable we can’t bear to think of throwing it away. Whenever we come home from the outside world of appointments and busy schedules, the first thing we want to do is get out of our meet-the-public clothes and slip into something familiar. My favorite comfy clothes are my hot pink sweats.
No kidding—this sweat suit is HOT PINK! After years of washing, the Pepto Bismal color is as bright as ever. I didn’t go out and buy this outfit. In fact, I’ve never seen any other sweat suits this color. But this clothing was a special gift.
In 1989, my mother was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. Dad cared for her at home. Each day he carried out his loving routine of bathing, dressing and feeding her. In early November, he called with sad news. Mom was in the hospital. She had taken a turn for the worse. By the time my sister and I arrived, she was gone. Dad said he held her in his arms until the end.
The next day we helped him tidy the house. In Mom’s bedroom, he opened the chest of drawers and pulled out two sweat suits, one white and one pink, with store tags still attached.
“I bought these for your mother,” he told us. “It was easier to dress her in clothes like this. But she never got to wear these. Why don’t you girls take them?”
We stared at the outfits. Tears filled our eyes, and we gave him a hug. Cathy accepted the white sweats, and I took the pink. “Thanks, Dad. We’ll enjoy using them.”
And I have. For years now.
Ten years after Mom died, I took them when we visited our eleven-month-old granddaughter. She enjoyed playing hide-and-seek with her Maddie crawling after her. Around and around the armchair we went, a hot pink monster on her trail.
I also wore them when I exercised each morning. Pedaling the stationary bike seemed to go easier when nothing was binding and hot pink energized the rider.
These days my sweats are a bit more threadbare, but I still slip them on whenever I want to cuddle up with a good book before bedtime.
Perhaps Dad thought this color would brighten my mother’s day as he cared for her. I doubt if she would have chosen it for herself. Contemplative and studious, Mom loved classical music and poetry. She would have preferred silky pajamas, lavender or sky-blue.
Dad was the “hot pink” person in our family—gregarious, enthusiastic, a motivator and leader. He organized Mom’s care down to a science. To keep her occupied, he took her with him when he visited nursing homes and led group singing with his guitar and song sheets for every occasion. She sang right along with the residents, recalling all the words to the golden-oldies when she couldn’t even remember his name.
Hot pink is lively, courageous. Who knows? I’m liable to wear these sweats forever. Hot pink is hard to destroy!