My Sunday Photo – May 14th, 2017.

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About 20 years ago my dad went to the opticians for the first time – a visit that changed his life, forever.

The optician spotted something abnormal and referred him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (or RP). It’s a name given to a group of inherited conditions which all result in a gradual progressive reduction in vision.

He was going blind.

Within weeks he had lost his driving licence (obviously with good reason) and he was also no longer able to work as a forklift truck driver. Since then many of the things he loved (he was a proper jack of all trades, able to turn his hand to anything practical) have became more difficult, if not impossible.

Not once have I ever heard him complain.

His attitude has always been really positive, he just gets on with it as best he can. While some things are a struggle, he is happy to be alive doing what he loves best – spending time with his grandchildren.

Even though his sight has now deteriorated, so much that he often can’t really see what is going on, he loves visiting different places. On Friday we went to Banham Zoo where, among other things, we watched the always entertaining Amazing Animals indoor show. As we went in, I asked Mark to tell a staff member, Steve, that my dad couldn’t see (I did this because the show features audience participation and they seek volunteers but also just in case there was an emergency).

Afterwards we went to see the brilliant outdoor Birds of Prey display, which my mum was especially keen on. Steve was flying a couple of the birds and, as he came into the audience with a beautiful peregrine falcon, he stopped before my dad and explained he was going to gently brush the bird’s feathers against his face so he could feel what they were like.

Even though my dad says he simply enjoys being with us, I always feel a little guilty that he’s normally on the fringe of things (as much as I try and take him places I think he will enjoy too). That wasn’t the case on Friday. How many people ever get that close to a peregrine falcon?

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We were all so surprised and touched by the gesture (my dad was thrilled). Thank you to the staff, especially Steve, for making it a day we will all remember for a long time.

My dad gave me permission to share his photo and a bit of his story.

I’ve linked up this special moment with #MySundayPhoto (please click on the camera below to see what other people have posted).

I’ll share some more zoo pics in the week (although approximately 800 of them were of blurred wings). Tomorrow is also my second Behind The Book interview (this time with the fabulous saga writer Susanna Bavin) so please come back and visit again soon.

Photalife
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42 thoughts on “My Sunday Photo – May 14th, 2017.

  1. Hi Tara, what a touching moment! Your post gave me goosebumps just reading it. By giving everyone the chance to experience something special Steve is a credit to the zoo. I can oh so relate to taking hundreds of blurry winged photos! Thank goodness for the age of digital photography!

    xx

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  2. That is a selection of very eye catching images and what a story behind it. I admire your dad’s strength. He oculd have been forgiven if he had complained although the image of him so close to the falcon did make me whine a bit I must say! A little too close for my liking. Made me nervous!

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    1. I don’t think he would have done it if he wasn’t completely sure of the bird. It’s used to being handled and it had flown around loads and was tired, plus it already had its dinner πŸ™‚

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  3. What a lovely thing for them to do for your dad. Little acts like that are what make the world a better place. #mysundayphoto

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  4. Oh wow Tara, what an amazing thing for them to do. I bet it was very special for your Dad. And thanks to him for letting you share some of his story and that beautiful picture with us. #mysundayphoto

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  5. What a fabulous day out! Beautiful photos, but I love that they made such an effort to include your Dad and make his day extra special too #MMBC x

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  6. Oh what a lovely thing for them to do and reading your story made me well up. I love the photo of your dad up close with the peregrine falcon. He sounds like an amazing man x

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  7. Super awesome blog! I have RP too! I dont let it bother me though. And I am now travelling the world and writing about my adventures πŸ™‚ well done on this lovely snippet, thanks.

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    1. That’s lovely to hear, thanks for taking the time to comment. Where can I read about your adventures? I’ll let my dad know you’ve been in touch, he will be pleased too. He’s nearly 75 now but still as active as ever.

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