This is the last photograph I took of my father in his lifetime. The next day he had a stroke and collapsed, going into a coma, and was hospitalized. Three weeks later, he died. The photograph shows him walking and being supported by Meni, his Filipino caregiver, on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. This was his regular daily walking route in his last years: from Tiberias Street, west on Bograshov, north to Ben Yehuda, and back. Sometimes he would enter the post office on Mendele Street, sit himself down on the bench and ask one of the clerks for a glass of water, rest for bit and then head back home, following the same route. Meni propped him up the whole way. He spent more time with him than anyone else in Father's last years.
I found it difficult to cope with Father in these years. We barely spoke. He constantly complained and I was always short-tempered. It's all there in the photograph. I took the picture from behind, because I didn't want to bother myself, I couldn't cope with his suffering again. I wanted to continue on my way but also to touch him, without hearing that it was "hard for him," that "he was sick of it all." I touched him only with the camera, as I touch many things. It was the last time I could have spoken with him, and I missed it.
Alex Levac is a photographer for Haaretz.
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