|Photo I put on Face Book|
I always thought of family photos as something you do with a young family, not elderly parents.
Recently I was asked to bring my father with me to a photo shoot as the photographer happened to see a photo of Dad on Face Book. As you can see from the picture above Dad looks a little like a French Santa.
One of my daughterly duties is to take him out for breakfast and find a place for him to sit in the sun. He says he remembers as a young man seeing elderly people sitting on park benches in the sun and wondering why they bother.
Now he says he knows why – the feeling of warmth on your bones is one of the last pleasures in life.
The reaction to the photos that have been taken have been amazing to me.
Some have described his face as kind, others as hard, others as wisdom.
When I look into those eyes I see a vacancy- a mind that has almost left the body behind.
They connect with mine sometimes with a plea and sometimes with love.
So I’ve decided to share some small snippets about my fathers life.
His name is Paul and he is 86 years of age and has seen many things in his life time that people should not see.
In one way, age can be a blessing as some memories start to fade.
Paul was born in Vienna, Austria and grew up in Grinzing, a wine growing area on the outskirts of Vienna that is now in modern Austria a tourist wine tavern area.
|A Wine Tavern in Grinzing|
After watching his father flee the country during WW2 to Australia and witnessing too many atrocities he immigrated to Australia in his early 20’s to be with his father, leaving behind his mother and sister.
He became very homesick in Australia and went back home to Vienna to bring his girlfriend back.
His girlfriend had meanwhile fallen in love with his best friend so he met the woman who became my mother and brought her to Australia.
My mother was told she could never have children by doctors during WW2 due to injuries she sustained.
Paul didn’t want children so he thought she was a perfect match.
Obviously the doctors didn’t factor in that my mother could heal and be able to bear children.
One of the things that surprised Paul was that he did fall in love with his children, in his own way and in his own time.
As he has become older he has expressed that love in different ways.
Now he just wants to go, he is surprised he is still here and alive. He almost left last year and thankfully now I have had a wonderful opportunity to capture him in these photos as a lasting memory.
Funnily enough, the experience of having his photos taken made him quite animated afterwards and he told me he enjoyed it very much and it made him reminisce about how long it had been since he had had a professional photo taken.
Many thanks to photographer Angela Cushway from WillowBelle Portraits for capturing a moment that I would have never have thought of!
Time is, time was, but time shall soon be no more.