October 24, 2010


I'll never forget the moment at my grandfather's funeral when the pastor referred to my Uncle's professional feats, and then attributed them to my Dad. He claimed Papa (my grandfather) was so proud of my Dad (who, of course, was actually my uncle, by feats).

The old folks in attendance nodded, some touching the outsides of their eyes with kerchiefs.

I watched as my Dad and my Uncle silently refused to interrupt the ceremony with a correction.

Papa was more to the old folks than either Daddy or Uncle. Daddy and Uncle both knew that. They also both knew that if, at some point in the future, it came up with the old folks, they could gently correct them, and they'd acquiesce, blaming feeble memories. They also knew that all of us young folks understood the mistake (as we squirmed in the extra-awkwardness of the "oh-you're-his granddaughter!" or "oh-you're-his-grandson!" existence).

So Daddy slipped a bit into Uncle and Uncle slipped a bit into Daddy, each giving their permission to share their lives with each other, I suppose as brothers do, on behalf of their father.

Watching, as a daughter of Daddy, I was amazed at the slithering identity snake of this family. When you are your most vulnerable, it bites you.

So, no. I guess it's no surprise that I didn't officially change my last name (yet, if ever).

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