Words By Marc Scott
I looked at my father today. Not just glanced or held his gaze. I really looked. I saw all the deep wrinkles that pointed in towards those forever smiling eyes. I like to joke with my sister that even from behind, dad always looks like he’s smiling. So many years spent with that grin full of cheeky glee has permanently etched those smile lines as a badge of honour. His hair is shiny silver, and wistfully light and thin, falling across his forehead with small curls that slightly flick up at the tips. He nods and listens with intent when I speak to him. My favourite view of my dad is when he talks about his passions. Mostly bowls. His face lights up, and his enthusiasm flows all through his body. His arm and hand gestures are obviously unconscious, but he can’t help himself. He will remember specific games and moments when he was proud. Proud of himself, but more often than not, when he was proud of someone else.
I gave dad a really long hug and just sat next to him with my arm around his shoulder. I could feel his arms and muscles, his back and waist. It wasn’t surprising to me how he felt, but I finally realised how old he had become. It makes me think about when he won’t be here anymore. I try and stop myself but sometimes I cant help it. Instead I’ve been trying to catch myself and turn them into moments where I stop and appreciate what I have now, and what I want to do with our time together. I get mixed feelings still. I just want to make him proud. I love him so much.