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Day 810

My father's eyes

Small and twinkly. Bright blue. Heavy eyebrows. Surrounded by wrinkles, lids heavy with years. They spoke when he was too tired, when he had not the words, they said his sorrys and I love yous. When he was being funny he made his eyebrows shoot up in surprise, his mouth made a little o, his face pulled long, and his eyes were full of merriment.

They became so small, like an artist’s brush stroke, an impression of all the life within. They became hooded and afraid. And yet his smile was brave. Smiling for the last time at the loch, the sea gulls, the paddle boat he loved so much. His adoring wife and beloved daughter. He knew the darkness was coming and turned away. He closed his eyes, his lips were set. Still he wore his cravat, his tweed jacket, his cashmere jersey the colour of water. Still he brushed his hair carefully all the way across his head, he kept his back straight and his stride determined. We sat beside the Clyde, watching the clouds and waited for the end.

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