I photographed my grandad today after realising I’ve never just done portraits of him.. I always photograph him from a distance and he always looks to me and smiles, saying.. “What are you up to now..?”
I then smile back at him and say “Ouuuupaaaaa, I’m photographing the handsomest man I know!”
It’s true though. My grandad was almost identical to Sean Connery back in his day! Possibly more handsome..!
Anyhoo, as most people who know me knows, I spend most, if not all Sundays with my dad and grandad, but today’s visit was bitter sweet.
I’m moving to London in the next 2 weeks which means my grandad won’t just be 36 minutes away from me any more.. it will be 2 hrs and 36 minutes. And that just breaks my heart, because I’m going to miss him so much it hurts already…
Old age does funny things to a grandchild. I have so much respect for my grandad it’s unreal. He’s by his own admission (and in his own words) “ a stubborn old bastard”. Just last weekend we went to the beach for a barbeque. We just sat there soaking up the sun and swaying to the gentle breeze, when I started getting cold and wanted to head home. Of course I just hopped up, without much effort and started packing things away, whilst my grandad (unbeknownst to me) started figuring out how he was going to get up, without my help and assistance. Until last year he was still playing bowls, however due to his deteriorating physical strength he’s had to admit defeat, as the ball probably weighs as much as he does!
So I got up and he’d rolled onto one hip and dug his walking stick into the pebbles to support him and use as leverage to get up. He wiggled about a bit and pushed himself mid-way, but to no avail. I stepped in offering a hand and he refused it. I offered again and told him not to be stubborn. He then said: “ No, I can do it ” in a self assured tone..
I looked at him, thinking, ok, ok, golden oldie! I’ll step back.
And so, I did.
It took him, I kid you not, about 5 minutes to get up. He collapsed onto his hips twice, and still wouldn’t let me help him. Then he rolled onto his side, almost onto his belly and bent his knees up towards him. Upon doing so, he used his legs as well as his walking stick as support, until he stood on his knees. Once on his knees, he lifted one leg and stood on it, and pushed himself up with the walking stick.
He was standing.
He stood, dusted the chalk from the beach pebbled off his knees, still supported by his walking stick, and then looked at me and smiled. He didn’t say anything but I knew he had to prove to himself that he’s still able and capable.
I couldn’t help but walk over and wrap my arms around him.
“I’m proud of you, for not giving up…”