Pamela MacNaughtan

Phil MacNaughtan

This is it, I’ve hugged my Mom, grabbed my backpack and day bag, and boarded a bus to Union Station in Toronto. Tonight I’ll be laying on a single bed with a white fluffy duvet, the sound of the train clicking along the tracks and the gentle sway of the carriage lulling me to sleep. The start of my four-day journey to Vancouver. But before I leave, before I start my journey, I need to do one thing. I need to change my desktop picture from one of Apple’s colourful landscape shots to a photo of my Dad. The same photo hangs in my Mom’s house. It’s the photo that rested atop his casket at his funeral. It’s the last photo I took of him that shows the man he was before his Alzheimer’s disease set-in and changed his personality.

I miss him. When my Dad died he left a huge gaping hole in my life, a hole that will always be there.

This trip, my return to Asia, wouldn’t be happening if my Dad was still alive. If he was still here I would be at my Mom’s house, I’d be working and trying to help pay for his care.

He’s not here though, and I need to go. I need to find myself, to figure out how to be the woman I want to be, without my Dad around to act as my rock, my centre.

In a small way, I wish I could write to him, to tell him about the places I love around the world. I want him to know about the people who have touched my life. I want him to know about the world he will never see and never experience.

His photo, the photo, will act as my motivation, a reminder to push forward on days when all I want to do is lay in bed. He will act as a reminder that life is for the living, not for sitting around and letting life roll on by.

So, with Dad on my laptop, and forever in my heart and mind, I depart for Vancouver, and then an open-ended trip to Asia.

I could go on, write a lengthy post about all the things I hope to see and experience in Asia, but for now all I want to do is lay on a single berth with a fluffy white duvet, listen to the clack of the track, and feel the sway of the train as we travel from Toronto to Vancouver. In the morning I’ll wake up, look out the window, take a deep breath, and open myself up to whatever adventures come my way.


  • September 1, 2015

    Pam, this is such a beautiful tribute to your father – I’m sure he’s so proud of you and the woman you are as he watches down on you. That photo is beautiful and definitely an amazing reminder of the man your dad was before the illness took over.

    I hope you enjoy the train to Vancouver, I look forward to following your journey 🙂

  • September 1, 2015

    I lost my sister just over a month ago, for a few seconds each day I still forget she’s gone. But then I remember and after I get over the sadness I think of her strength and amazing spirit and I keep going. Have a great trip and adventure Pamela, life is for living.

  • September 1, 2015

    You CAN write to him and tell him all the wonderful things you experience!

    Via Con Dios!

  • Amy

    September 2, 2015

    What a beautiful, beautiful photo! I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad looks like a lovely soul. I hope Asia is just what you need. Look forward to following your travels, we are in Asia for the next 18 months also.
    All the best x

  • September 4, 2015

    Well written, emotional yet bright. This is a great and meaningful way to move forward. Best of luck!


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