The Photograph
17 May 2024

I was rummaging around the backroom and found an old photograph, of me and my dad.

I started crying.

The picture was old and faded with age. The corners curled up or down. A cruel indent slashed across it, as if it disapproved of its own sepia colours and the memory it held. I held it to my chest, feeling it for just a bit.

When I went to visit my mom, I took the picture with to show her.

I couldn’t help crying again. And I sobbed out a story about the little toddler and his old man… Making my peace and saying my part. My finger lay lovingly across my new treasure. I poured out my heart – until I felt some measure of relief, perhaps even forgiveness for myself for not reaching out to the old man while he was still alive.

Mom pointed to the cute toddler on the man’s lap.

“Who’s this kid?”

I didn’t understand. I looked at her, then the photograph, then back to her. I could feel my lip quivering. It was me… surely…

“Goodness no that ain’t you,” Mom said, sounding almost annoyed. “Oh bless your heart. That’s one of your cousins… I think. Hell, I can’t remember. Someone. Not you, though. Definitely not you.”

Off course, I kept the picture.

It’s one of my favourites of daddy and me.