This is my dad – he’s a Melbourne boy.
The second last time I went home I spent a heap of time with him in the hospital in town. I’d go there in the afternoon and set up my computer and camera, and once Dad was satisfied that I was settled, he’d roll over and go to sleep - he would doze on and off the whole time I was there. In the evening we’d eat some dinner and watch a bit of telly, then i’d drive back to his house and visit him the next day.
I asked him if I could take this photo (he’s not a huge fan of being the subject in my lens). He sat up on the bed and told me in his gruff voice to “hurry up”, but he didn’t complain as I got my settings right and had to retake it a few times - unusually patient if I had to say. I think he knew I really wanted this photo.
On the last day, before I came home to the north coast, he was worried that I was going to miss my plane so he told me he was really tired and wanted a real sleep - I gave him a kiss and I left for the airport. I could see him pretending to be asleep but watching me from under the covers as I walked toward the elevator. It tore at my heart a little bit to think that as sick as he was that day, all he was concerned about was my welfare.
The last time I went to Melbourne my dad didn’t live there any more…
…It has taken me 16 months to process this photo.