My father past away over a year ago, and I have only just brought myself to look at his life’s accumulation of photos. As the eldest, I have become the nominated family ‘archivist’, so it is my responsibility to sort, scan and store hundreds of precious photos; links to my father’s memories which are now forgotten and forever lost.
The vast majority of photos consisted of his time in the sixties travelling around the world in his early twenties. These black and white photos show a happy laughing man. A man before his children were born. A man without any responsibilities or cares in the world. In all the photos there is a constant theme; he’s always smiling or laughing. Towards the end of his life my father had an amazing collection of deep creases and wrinkles around his eyes, and now I know why. His happiness and ability to laugh at the ridiculous and life in general were etched on to his face. I always loved the way his eyes twinkled when he smiled. He smiled with his eyes and not many people can do that.
It’s so bittersweet to care for his photos. The missed opportunity of hearing the many stories behind them, and the memories that must of been associated with them every time he viewed them, are now forever gone; his many girlfriends, the suspicious looking cigarette in his hands. It’s hard to acknowledge that as his child I was never to know everything about his past. He held things back to protect us and himself by glossing over what must of been a fabulous time in his life.
It’s also a privilege to care for these photos knowing that he treasured them and kept them his whole life. I am forever grateful for the time I had with my father and the love we shared. But I will forever wish we had more time together to collect his memories, so that they can be shared and passed on, not just the links to his memories; his photos.
Dad I will forever love you. I miss you everyday. Thank you for everything.