Wednesday, December 22, 2010
No. 1 Daughter
I stopped worked early yesterday to vist my father at the hospice. Despite his frailty and pain – and a veil of Clonazepam to quell his anxiety – we had a wonderful few hours together. I fed him then stretched out alongside him on the bed. We chatted as I massaged his hands. His cancer-ridden body is deteriorating quickly and very visibly now but his spirit refuses to be constricted by it. He is alert and gripping onto the last, fraying strands of life. Before I left, he gave me a small gift: a military-style dog-tag, engraved with the words No. 1 Daughter (an in-joke between us – I am his only daughter). I started to cry. He told me he was proud of me for living on my own terms, for not letting anyone fuck me over. As a young, tomboy-ish girl, raised by a hard-working but attentive single father, I learned to value my independence – and, later, my art – above all. As an adult, I finally recognise that if I have become anything at all, it is my father's daughter.