My grandmother was one of the kindest and most giving people I have ever known. Although “Mamacita” (as we called her) lived modestly, she would always provide others with whatever she could to make their lives better and situations more enjoyable. There are many memories I could share about her life and the time we shared. Her ability to make a delicious meal from anything in a seemingly bare pantry, her miraculous “green thumb” that could revive broom straw into verdant flowers, and her genuine heart for Spanish love songs which would invariably bring a tear to her eye are but a few.
But the small reflection of Mamacita I am currently focused on has to do with her love of cardinals. For reasons unknown to me, she absolutely adored these red birds and would rush to catch a glimpse whenever one was spotted. Whether they served as some type of harbinger of good fortune in her personal beliefs or were just a joyous promise that the colors of spring were seasonally returning out of the bleakness of winter, I am not sure. But, she loved them, and now I love them too.
When I see a cardinal, I see my sweet grandmother smiling and speaking Spanish to me, though it is not a language I comprehend. It has been said that an angel gets its wings whenever there is a “shooting star”. This may be true. I believe it may also be the case that when Mamacita got her wings, they may have been red and that one of the Cardinals I see in my neighborhood trees is her lovingly looking out for me. I love you, Mamacita. I hope you enjoy Winter Red. I painted it for you. And thank you all for sharing my adventures in art.