My father was exiled from my emotional life – and it was only when he was dying that I started to understand why
My father was my first love. It wasn’t a romantic love, of course, but all the ache of love was in it. He was handsome, charming and dangerous. It was more than just a minor crush – it was a fatal, all-consuming yearning for his affection that engulfed me like a slow, devastating bushfire. Heartbreak was inevitable.
Dad shared his birthday with Jesus. “Look! Everyone celebrates my birthday,” he’d exclaim, pointing at the houses lit up like Harrods on our street, the joke never getting old. He was a bon vivant – nothing made him happier than a festive table creaking under the weight of calorific delights. On Christmas Day 2010, we turned a blind eye to him scarfing a third helping of birthday cake – and I am glad we did. It was his 70th and his last.
He had been conditioned by a rigid misogynist culture that hailed boys as assets and wrote off girls as burdens
His hospital gown is wet with our tears and all I want to do is fall asleep right there, next to him
In finding out the truth about ishis private past and struggles, I found peace