A week ago, I lost the other half of a hereditary Newt. My bio father died unexpectedly.
On the eve of a New Years day, I was washing potatoes, as the sun cast my reflection in the window, I felt my breath catch. My hair and orange eyes stared back at me. As he did.
I always knew, he was my father -we shared the same locks and eyes. He was a longtime country songwriter, photographer and train conductor. He was eloquent, an insomniac and poetic in form. He could stand on a parking meter with one foot, a cat burglar in the making, He made my Grandmother spread rose petals in her kitchen as he sang along to Johnny Cash.
He was the only one, out of the three father options that ever came back to suss me out. But I knew he was the one, in my heart of hearts, even as a very young child. Our hair and love of words, I used to muse, as I read the love letters I stole from my mother’s things.
He wore brown boots and a bandana in all the pics, so I did. He placed a flower in my hair and snapped photos. So for decade after decade, I wore a flower in my hair, in hopes that he could find me in a crowd. I searched so hard for him. I looked inside of men for why he walked away. In the company of strangers I would muse thoughts. With my loved ones I was a hostage to silence. I ran far, I bristled with hatred and scorn at what life had given me as lanterns to light my way. He was always around, but never mine.
I could never find the guts to travel to him and say- She lied, I am yours. I could never handle the what ifs. There were three men, he could say, THAT. He could reject, he could walk away, he could shun. So even when I knew for sure this summer. I wore the blinders of 42 years.
I went to take a pic of me wearing only my flannel shirt and a flower in the reflection and instead saw the first time I wore a flower. Some reflections flicker within the past. Some reflections never leave the mind’s eye.
If my past had never happen, I never would have gone searching for the answer to the gap. I never would have become who I became. It is at times like this I wish for a heaven. SO maybe, a second chance might be wait.
Instead, I see you in my reflection and who you saw all those decades ago and I see who I grew to be. I see the flower and the soft light. I see you as you saw me.
A redhead with orange eyes and a lyrical soul.