Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

My father-in-law during his RNZAF days.

My father-in-law during his RNZAF days.

In some ways the choice of this photo of my father in law, Roger Gray, for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge “Up” seems a bit obvious – maybe even cliched. But it is especially poignant this week.

Roger was a pilot in the Royal New Zealand Air Force for several years before joining NAC;  New Zealand’s domestic airline.  He flew for NAC, and later Air New Zealand for over twenty five years – retiring in 1986 as the senior captain on domestic/Pacific flights. Even now, when we board Air New Zealand flights they are sometimes piloted by people Roger helped to train.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this photo in the last few days; of the confident, smiling young man fulfilling the dream of so many boys (and girls). Last Tuesday, Roger fell and broke his hip. He is now in hospital, in pain and waiting for an operation. He has family around him and is receiving skilled and compassionate care. But his recovery will be painful – and probably slow. For Roger, “Up” has a whole new meaning.