The Color Yellow: Sailboats on the River Scheldt

7:00 AM

Theo Van Rysselberghe, Sailboats on the River Scheldt, 1892 
The Color Yellow
By MEGAN GANNON

Okay. We made it but before I talk about the River Scheldt, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to a few people. First, my parents for being the bravest people I know. You two are incredible. To my brothers, Matt and Tommy I wouldn’t trade our late nights talks for anything in the world. To all the people that stayed after Trevor died, you could of left but instead you stood by my family, and I don’t know how I ever will repay you. And to those who entered my life after Trevor I want so desperately to share him with you because in knowing him, you will understand me. 

As I stare out at the Sailboats of the River Scheldt I marvel at how beautifully Rysselberghe captures the reflection of the water with his neo-impressionism brushstrokes. I chose to end with Rysselberghe because I feel rooted when I look at this painting. I see four shadows dancing across the water with the setting sun. Matt, Trevor, Megan, Tommy. Forever bonded together in Kirsten and Rick, the house on Wenonga Lane and swimming pool games. 

Rysselberghe smothers his painting in yellow, which is sometimes how I live my life. I see Trevor in the specs of things, a sunflower, a dolphin, myself. I am no longer solely the girl with the dead brother or PTSD. I am Megan. I get up and live my life the best I can, some days hurt a little more than others and on those days I find myself in yellow. I embrace the joy Trevor brought into my life, attempting to forget all the pain and feel okay. I’m seventeen, and I’m watched the world repeatedly take those I love and managed still have hope. 

Studying art history this year has renewed that hope, for a while I thought Trevor was slipping away but then I found him in Rothko, Turner, Malevich and many more. He was reassuring me he had never left. 

Today as the sun sets on Rysselberghe’s dock our journey also comes to an end. I leave you with something I’ve learned. Grief ripples through your life, knocking you off your feet sometimes, but the person you lost, they will never leave you. They turn up in other things, so keep your eyes open. Now go find yourself in your own yellowand I promise you’ll be okay. 

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