This old photo of me and my Dad is a fave of mine.
I’d say I’m about four years old; that would make my Dad thirty-one, and the year 1966. The lawn furniture looks like the stuff my grandparents had. That would put us in their Brantford back yard. His shiny shoes are not sandbox-ready footwear. Grandma probably told him to sit there for a photo. And he did what his Mom told him to!
April will mark two years since my Dad died. In some strange ways, it’s even more difficult now without him. His death came in a flurry of making so many decisions and watching his health fail rapidly. In the calm aftermath, missing him comes in strong waves.
I was walking behind an elderly man the other day. He moved slowly and carefully, using the kind of walker Dad used. I instinctively slowed down so he wouldn’t feel rushed. Dad was always concerned about getting in anyone’s way. This man looked over his shoulder and pulled to the right to let me get around him. The stab of pain in my heart – I wasn’t expecting it. I smiled and nodded through my tears and did as he wished.
When one of us wasn’t with Dad, my biggest concern wasn’t about falls, but feelings. I worried that someone who didn’t know him would become impatient with him and see him as an imposition. He was a much-loved man, losing a fight with Parkinson’s Disease. He was a member of a club he didn’t ask to join. I hope for the man with the walker that those around him will remember to be kind.