Nov 15th(RIP “Daddy”)My Birthdayūüéā Was Bittersweet…

I’ve been meaning to post for days now, but I couldn’t focus, my thoughts were all over the place. I was thinking about my grandpa in the hospital, in a coma. I was thinking about about how much I wanted to fly down to Miami and visit him, just so he could hear my voice. I wasn’t able to go. As my birthday approached, I wasn’t feeling good about that, but I was optimistic that he’d wake up. He was starting to exhibit signs that he would but some folks around him were already writing him off. I was upset and angry that they weren’t giving Daddy the energy he deserved. I tried to keep my composure and keep my thoughts positive. I’ve always known Daddy to be a positive man, and a fighter who bounces back from anything. I was prepared for the worst, but hoped for the best as I waited to hear an update. My Auntie G and the fam around were very optimistic about Daddy bouncing back as well.

In the wee hours of my birthday morning I texted my twin sister wishing her a Happy Birthday. I also praised us for making it this far. I’m proud of myself for making it through another year in one piece. That is most important to me every year, but I do love birthday cake, and presents. Anybody who knows me, knows that!

In the afternoon, I was informed that my grandfather was no longer with us. I knew there was something off, just by the manner in which my Auntie told me. A decision was made and we were not informed. I knew his passing wasn’t natural, I could feel it. I didn’t ask any questions, it wasn’t the right time for that. It was my birthday and I most definitely did not feel like seeing anyone or celebrating. I was just going to stay in my room, quiet to myself. My fam didn’t want that though, they wanted us to all come together, and celebrate the way Daddy would’ve wanted. I felt as though Daddy’s comforting energy was present. Auntie hugged me saying it’s my day and we will be celebrating with cake. I felt a little better hearing that, I had no excuse to go and hide away. My cousin texted me telling me she’s on her way.

This is a birthday I will never forget. RIP Daddy.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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My Pre/Post Birthday Thoughts…..

As my birthday approaches, I’m reflecting on the year so far, ¬†good and bad, ups and downs. I can honestly say that there’s been more UP’S and I’m happy to share that. I use birthdays as a measure of time for the year, instead of the “New Year” because it means surviving a full year of life and with the stresses of living in this society, I consider that an accomplishment in itself…..

It’s a few days since my birthday, and my birthday was especially different this year. I’ve never spent a birthday away from home, my place is still being repaired, and I’m far away from friends and family. I’m literally a block away from cows and farmland…..I have what I need, and enough to get by, yet I’m without my usual belongings. I couldn’t and didn’t take a fancy dress with me when I left, it wasn’t even a thought, or a priority. In case I was going out, I would’ve ¬†liked to have had one…I tried to plan for my birthday, but I didn’t need to overthink or disappoint myself with high expectations, or have a bratty attitude. A couple of my relatives came to visit, it’s a long drive, and I appreciated that. I didn’t have a party-it-up birthday that is expected once you hit this age…..My father did his traditional phone call, and sent me a short “dad-like” message that was metaphorical, regarding my age ¬†and “youthful” look…He was trying lol…..

Set-backs, like the flood, I now consider an inconvenience, instead a negative instance…..I’ve come a looooong way. Being placed in a few new/different environments so quickly, from a situation that was an still is out of my hands, has introduced me to a better way of life. What I thought was home, I see in a different light,¬†and there was nothing¬†wrong with that place, I adored it…..

I’ve been introduced to an improved environment, a town that’s alluring and calm, it’s helped to ¬†inspire me and look forward. I’m anticipating what’s going to happen next, whenever the place is habitable again…Everything is going to be different, I have A LOT to catch up on…..My fears aren’t interrupting my peace, the way I used to let them, when an out of my hands situation happened in the past…..I’m Happy I made it to this Birthday, but I won’t tell you how old I am…lol…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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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.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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