Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Photoessay #1 - My father late in life
My father, in his home in Wesley Willows taken June 2006. He passed away April 19, 2007 on my birthday. He's in his last year of life in this picture. Did he know? He was so withdrawn during his last years. He made it clear that there was nothing that we needed to talk about. There was nothing in my life that interested him. Possibly the academic progress of my kids. And his own life was his own affair, not for me to share.
He was so keen on defeating death, having survived many illnesses over the previous 5 years. Maybe he knows that the next health crisis was imminent. I believe that he was glad that I had come to visit. However, he was not interested in interacting with me any more that was strictly necessary. He didn't want me to take his picture.
My father was often angry and seeking control. He was especially focused in making sure that I did not have any control over his life. It was a lifelong struggle between us, the father intent on imposing his will, the daughter forever defying him. We could never break out of this.
The mail was one of his last bastions. Only he was allowed to look at the mail. Eventually he lost control of that, he stopped paying the bills some months before his final health crisis but did not admit it.
He looks like his father in this picture. He greatly admired his father and always aspired to be as brilliant, knowledgeable and accomplished as Harold. He felt that he never quite measured up. At the end of his own life, he had the severe manner but lacked his own father's grace and humor.