"This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realisation, it's the sound
of the unlocking and the lift away... Your love will be, safe with me"
This is my dad and I one month before he passed away, in 2009. The photo is tinged with sadness, you can see my dad's stoma which he was left with after a tracheostomy which was supposed to save his life being taken from laryngeal cancer. My dad was very poorly, and the thought of what he went through still and always will make me extremely sad. That's the reality of cancer, which is something so many people are afraid to talk about. It's so difficult to understand until you experience the effects of it, or someone close to you does. I had never heard of laryngeal cancer, but I'm all too familiar with the symptoms now.
On the other hand, the photo makes me happy. It's one of the last handful of times we all went out as a family, with our friends to a lovely local park. We had a bit of a picnic, we played in the park and we enjoyed time together. My dad took photos, and appeared in them too. Being the photographer, it's often the case that there might not be a photo of my dad from an event where only he took photos. This has made me more snap happy, and I would encourage everyone to take photos of every happy moment!
My dad was a get up and do things kind of guy, get out there and live life to the full. If he had his camera with him (as he often did) and he saw a bird he'd been tracking down, he'd stop the car and stand by the road to capture it. No matter if it held him up, he always made time for the little things, and for everyone. Through the hazy sadness, I search for these memories and I'm happy. I'm happy to have known such a wonderful man, and so privileged and happy that he was my dad.
So here's to my dad, I love you.
To all those other dads that were taken too soon, to those dads you're still making memories with and to those dads we miss - you're the best. Appreciate those you love, and make time for the little things.
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