Oh, Jenny! I’m sorry I marked up your whole story with green marker. All those bits I highlighted, I lived and could have written.

I don’t remember not reading. I was a toddler when I opened a book and read it to Mama. She said who taught you? I was surprised. No one, I said. I thought everyone was born knowing how to read.

My Daddy was a war veteran with horrible flashbacks. That’s when he drank. And Mama read books, and cried, and we did, too.

For me, it was stories. I made up stories for my little sisters and little brother. You could escape into stories. Art and poetry followed not far behind.

I read once that people who have lived coddled lives struggle to make art. Because what would they draw on? I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t even know if there is such a thing as a coddled life. I think pain just comes in different colors. You paint them so well. Thank you for being here. ❤

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