My Styling Dad from Sometime in the 1970s
My dad died a little over a week ago.
A month ago, I found out he had stage 4 cancer. And, while I knew it was coming, it still took me some time to come to terms with it. The shocking part was, he appeared to be healthy a month before his passing — no signs of any diminished capacity. There was no slow decline to mentally cushion the blow of the inevitable.
The most frustrating part was, because of the pandemic, I was not able to visit him in his final weeks. While it was a poor substitute, I used FaceTime to chat with him and my mom every day. Even through the video chat, I could see him slipping away, day by day. When he could no longer talk, I comforted my mom.
My family and I had plans to meet my mom and dad in Hawaii this year, for his 88th birthday. When the ravages of the pandemic made it unlikely that this would happen, I surprised him by sending his birthday present early — an Apple Watch Series 5, that he always wanted. He was so happy receiving that gift, just days before he went to the hospital and found out his prognosis. I feel like that was one of my final acts of kindness for my father.
I’m trying my best to remain positive. Ultimately, I’m thankful that he passed quickly. His pain was managed well, and I’m glad that my mother did not have to deal with a long and drawn-out decline.
I talked a little about my father yesterday. That he was an earnest photographer early in his life, before becoming satisfied making pictures of pretty flowers. While I obviously have high-resolution digital photographs of him, I like this Polaroid that I found in a box of pictures. There are so many unknowns. Who took the picture? When and where was it taken? From the cars and style of outfit, I’m assuming it’s sometime in the 1970s. He would have been in his late 30s or early 40s, full of life and hip enough to wear a white jacket with white shoes. Amazingly, his white and two-toned blue outfit matches perfectly with the background and sky.
I love that picture, and I love my dad.