It has been a long time since I had a free Saturday afternoon to belt out a few tunes. Music is definitely one of my favourite past-times (other than playing with my camera) where I can express my emotions. Anyway, I popped over to my friend’s house to prepare for Sunday church praise and worship segment. I currently lead a worship band at church and loving it. While we were singing away, I couldn’t help noticing my friend’s dear Grandpa Watson sitting alone in the living room watching Chinese opera re-runs. Karen has been given the responsibility to look after her grandfather every weekend, and I have so much respect for her because it’s not the easiest thing to do. She has shared that it’s been a huge sacrifice to let go of weekends and care for Grandpa Watson and miss out on what most people enjoy doing on Saturdays – catching up with friends, shopping or lying out on the beach. About a year ago, Grandpa Watson lost his wife from a sudden stroke, and passed away 3 days later. The sad news shattered Grandpa Watson, and since then he was left heartbroken, distraught and became physically frail. He has gone on walk-about, calling out to his wife. They married in year 1947!
I tried to strike up a conversation with Grandpa Watson, but I was lost for words. It was one of those boring old conversations like, “how are you, what are you doing”, but it didn’t feel genuine. It was only until I walked away and saw the intimate relationship Karen had with her Grandpa; I wanted to capture it (Yes, I had my camera on me…hehe). It was so beautiful to watch so I asked for their permission to take pictures of Grandpa Watson. From the first click of my camera, it totally change Grandpa’s perspective of me and he opened up to me and towards the camera. Cameras are a fantastic communication tool! Apparently he use to own an SLR but during the war in China, his camera got confiscated. I had sweet pleasure taking pictures of Grandpa Watson. Their story is a reminder how we should all treasure and respect the elderly.
Two months after…..
Grandpa Watson had unfortunately passed away. Karen left me a message on my phone while I was in Cambodia, and I was swelled with tears as soon as I read her message. She told me how these photos had helped her family remember the wonderful times they had shared together. I’m just amazed with the timing. I’m so glad that I was able to give Karen and her family photos for them to treasure for the rest of their lives. I dedicate this story to my dear friend Karen and Grandpa Watson – a real testament to life.