Sunday, October 03, 2010

Glimpses of my Dad

Photographs are all I have left of my dad. So when I find glimpses of my dad in photos, my heart swells with happiness at the discovery, yet I find tears streaming down my face and I'm so grief-stricken that he's gone and the way he went out. Sick, confused, and bedridden in a hospital.
Some of those finds include this photo above taken at Astrid's 1st birthday party at my home, where my dad is standing with us, happy & laughing. It wasn't a keeper since one of the paintings in the background is hanging askew. But crooked painting be damned; when I discovered the photo today my heart leapt...."look it's my dad! And he's so happy!", followed by endless tears.

The last time I saw my dad alive there was no joy, there was no laughter, he wasn't even able to speak to me. Then the very next time I saw him he was dead. So the last images I have of my dad are those last days in the hospital hooked up to tubes. I'm haunted by those memories and of the memory of him in the morgue when I rushed to the hospital to see him.

So when I see photos of him alive in his 70's...looking like my is such a find. We didn't take lots of photos of my dad. Only now can I see that we didn't take that many photos of him, because he was overweight. Towards the end he had lost a lot of weight, but then he looked sick. So there's a dearth of photos of him.

Going through my photos I've found my dad captured in photos unintentionally. He appears in one that I took of Astrid riding her scooter on the sidewalk in front of my parents' house and my dad is standing in the distance holding his cane in one hand and his pants in the other. This was when he was getting treatments for his bladder cancer and was losing a lot of weight. He had to constantly hold up his pants. In another one, my mom is playing with Astrid in front of a mirror and my dad is captured sitting in a chair to the side. My heart hurts so bad & yet I am so happy to see my dad alive.

There was a vitality to him even when he was overweight and sick. I try to hold onto those memories and block out the painful ones of him dying. The overwhelming urge that comes over me when I see my dad in photos, is that I need to hug him. I wish I had given him more hugs when he was alive. He was a good hugger, and I loved him so much.

1 comment:

Trailhead said...

The crooked painting is part of what makes the picture so perfect. It draws the eye and reminds you that life is messy and imperfect, but there is still love. It's a wonderful image.