My Birthday & Growing Older…..

The fun part about getting older is looking back at all the things you thought you  knew when you were younger and matching it with what you  know to be true at the age you are now. I’ve embraced growing older, I reflect back on what I learned from that year, and how much I’ve improved as a person. It takes away the pressure of the actual number of your  age, which we tend to get hung up on.

Today is my birthday, that I share with my twin sister. I’m up at 3:00 am drinking tea and writing before I start my day, I’d like to share this with you…….

Last night my father gave me a pre-birthday call, he usually does that every year because he wants to make sure he wishes me a Happy Birthday in case he’s not able to get through on the actual day due to phone connection issues. It’s nice to get that call and I look forward to it. I allow my father to express his fatherly side since he hasn’t been around to do it. I  could sense he was uneasy when I reminded him how old I’m turning because he missed so many years. He becomes silent and I have to bear it, I’ve noticed over the last few years he does this. He will trail of when we are speaking and go into the story about the picture that his friend drew of me when I was a child, a large sketched portrait, black and white, my hair braided, I was five years old…..I’ve never seen that picture before, but I know the story behind it because I’ve heard it many times. I remember hearing this story as a child, he told me that while he was incarcerated, there was a talented inmate who would draw portraits from photographs, and he  would match the images to a tee……I neglected to tell my father that I remember meeting that man at a jail visit in the room designated for wives and children. I remember that man had a beard and looked gruff…..He had a few of his children sitting with him, but we didn’t interact….I remember my father introducing him to us, while holding a large portrait and telling us that he was the one who drew it. I was taking in the atmosphere around me, as I usually did, I was a very observant child. I remember thinking to myself, how can a man who can draw this beautiful picture be in jail???. There were so many wives and children in the visiting room and I thought we were the only ones that lived like this, until that day……..

Every time my father trails off and tells that story I think to myself, wow, he’s stuck in time, he still associates me with that portrait when I was a little innocent child. I am in my thirty’s yet that is still his point of reference when it comes to me. He doesn’t even realize he is doing it. He does this practically every time we speak, and the older I grow the more he does it. Our conversations go off track when he does that, but I listen without interruption. I leave him to be at peace with his story. It’s a special memory for him and I don’t want to mar it. I do want him to know that I DO remember the jail visit where I met the artist who drew that picture of me, but that would also remind him of jail,. I’d rather him keep that memory about me as a little girl than about him being locked up, and me seeing him  in that way…..

I’m thankful for simply being alive and having the opportunity to share my thoughts with you on my Birthday.


~Dawn Lovely

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