Fathers' Day 2012. My father had just turned 85 years old in April and January of this year we had celebrated their 60 years of marriage. Throughout the years I had seen and experienced their commitment and love for each other and for God.
I needed to do something special for my Dad as he is growing old rapidly and simple things in life are becoming more difficult by the week.
It dawned on me that he had grown up in an era of steam trains and my grandfather in his younger years, had been a carpenter at the Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorwee, and later in life a policemen in the service of the SA Railways. All their long distance trips in my fathers childhood had been by Steam Train and as one gets older these good memories always live with you.
I booked a trip for Fathers' day but kept it a surprise. Packed a breakfast basket, a flask with team and coffee, and off we set at dawn.
His face! The absolute delight to see this old steam train. I wish I had my camera out at the time to capture his expression. Priceless.
As you my know trains are not always at ground level so getting the old folks into the compartment was a little challenge, but the friendly old conductor was ready and willing to help them in,
The anticipation of the train steaming up and pulling out of this station and the whistle created and excitement and a smile on his beautiful face that I will always remember and cherish.
As sat waiting for the train to depart he stroked his hands lovingly over the wooden panels of the coach walls, with a smile he said "Maybe my fathers hands had worked and touched this wood too. Tears swelled up in his eyes, (and mine too of course), tears of happiness as he lived this the nostalgia of his childhood,
Apart from my fathers permanent smile throughout the journey, something that I kept photographing was their hands. After 60 years, they still always hold hands. This is so precious to see that two people could still be so in love and share so much care for each other. The only time their hands parted was to hold their cups of tea, muffins and boiled eggs that I had packed for breakfast.
The "Hands" photo is one of my most treasured photos which will always be a reminder of these wonderful two people that gave me life and have been there for me throughout my life, and supported me through so many tribulations. An example to everyone, love each other as long as you can.