Sunday, February 03, 2008


She has my father's eyes.

She's only 6 months old so there's still the possibility that they'll change to a shade of green like mine or her mother's.

Until now the only things that I've had to remind me of my father are his watch and a profound distrust of alcohol. Now every time I look into my daughter's eyes I see him. I see him and I'm reminded of the time he stood in the door of my bedroom and stated that I didn't love him. What could I, all of 9 years old, say to that? I'm reminded of how I dreaded weekends and holidays. I'm reminded of all the times I crept out of my bedroom as he snored his drunken snore on the couch, crawling on hands and knees behind the planter to turn on the porch light. It shone in my bedroom window and made my room feel safe. Those few meters made my heart race, sweating and praying that he wouldn't wake up. Praying too that he wouldn't get up and turn it off after I made it back to bed so I'd have to do it all over again: Sisyphus in flannel pajamas. I don't want to be reminded of any of this.

And yet...and yet I don't really want Emlyn's eyes to change. Somehow I think he would be proud of his granddaughter. Maybe it's just the blinders of new-parenthood that makes me feel this way but I can't imagine my father not loving her. I see him picking her up and tossing her in the way that makes her laugh her little baby laugh and he's smitten just like I am. He looks in her eyes and sees the best of himself looking back.

I want her eyes to stay that particular shade of blue-gray; I want my love for her to spill over into my memories of him. It's the least I can do. Because without my father she wouldn't exist, and for that I can forgive him everything.

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