My father visited to London to see my brother, so I also went to London to see them altogether. I realised that it was the first time for my father to step on Europe, and it has been a long time for us to see one another. So we sons tried to show him as many places as possible so that he could have a vivid memory of Europe and maximise his short station here. I tried to take as many photos as possible so to have some kind of evidences to recall him in the future when he goes back where he came all along.
We were walking along with the Thames river, and just before crossing the Millennium Bridge I took a portrait photo with my father. He grabbed my hand and hold it tight. It was the almost sunset hour as it sounded romantic, and I didn’t know how to react to the hand holding that I wasn’t used to. But I realised then, it also was a bold moment for him to approach as such, but was necessary since we don’t know when will be the next time we can hold hands together. After crossing the Millennium Bridge heading to Saint Paul’s Cathedral, we hugged to say goodbye and I slipped to the tube station heading to Victoria Station to catch up transportation to go back to Paris.
I arrived to my seat and sat, then became emotional. Tears burst out when thinking that that might have been the last time I could hold my father’s hand, not because that I’d not see him ever again, but because procrastinating current behaviour assuming its possibility in future isn’t valid. When he goes back home, I won’t be able to be around him whenever he needs someone to hold his hand, either to cheer him up or to grieve with. So when it is still possible, which was the very time before crossing bridge, I should have hold his hand firmly, which I couldn’t.
I came back to Paris, and the next day he came to visit to Paris as well. So I took him to many touristic places and local places to show him the essence of Parisien lifestyle. This time, without embarrassment or hesitation, whenever I could, I hold his hand firmly. It wasn’t because I wanted to avoid the regret, rather because I wanted to show my care to him. We took lots of photos together on the most touristic places of Paris, on the streets and in the restaurants. I wished that our hands would hold each others’ hand rather than holding mobile phones in those photos we took.
Once we were up floor of Eiffel Tower, looking down the panoramic view of Paris, I asked him to give his hand to me then hold it while taking a photo with the panoramic view as the background. Due to the distance, the hands were out focused, so I didn’t regard much the photo, since there were more photos taken the very day. Returned to home that night, I shared those photos I took that day.
The next morning when we were out walking under the bright sun that greeted Paris, he told me in a low voice that he really liked THE photo. Not knowing what was the very photo he was mentioning, I asked:
– Which one among the many I shared?
– The one holding hands on the Eiffel Tower; he replied.
– But that one was the most blurred photo ever!
I replied as if it was a nonsense, but I knew and understood well what he meant. And yes, that was my favourite too. I hadn’t had much chance to feel how old his hand has become. I hadn’t had much chance to testify the callosity that has formed on his palm. I hadn’t had much chance to scratch the deep wrinkles that curved on his fingers. But this time I could, and I felt sorry for the time I have missed out. One lesson learned is that I should hold his hands more when I can, and the only time I can is now when I’m with him.
He went back to London today, and tomorrow afternoon he takes the flight going back home. I hope that he really enjoyed the visit to London and Paris where me and my brother are forming our own sense of home differed from his. But even so, he definitely observed the strong connection between all those, at least I wish.
Love you, dad.