Grateful for my dad


My dad has been gone now for fifteen years. Sometimes, though, the memories of our time together come back so vividly. This morning I thought of the time he performed "Amazing Grace" at church on his clarinet. He made the entire congregation cry that day. To say he was a gifted musician doesn't really describe his level of artistry. He could make you smile from ear to ear, shout out loud and tap your toe - all the while making it look so easy.

I was thinking about how he overcame a huge handicap - his vision was absolutely horrible. He was not allowed to drive at night because his eyes were so bad.

And yet he loved to take pictures his entire life. He loved everything about photography - the gear, the adventure, all of it. 

I remember how patiently he tried to get me started on photography. He would explain his thought process to me - the decisions around composing a shot, checking the camera settings, etc. But for some reason, I wasn't a bit interested in anything he tried to teach me. I wasn't ready yet. Too young and foolish.

It wasn't until after his death, when I came across his camera that I began to think that maybe exploring photography would be the perfect way for me to honor him and keep his memory alive in my heart. 

And so I began learning about the wonderful world of capturing images - moments in time - to savor and enjoy. I discovered that photography, like music, was the perfect blend of art and science - a deep, rich blend of intuition and rational thinking that contained limitless possibilities.

All along my photography journey, I've heard my dad's voice in my head, echoing back to me over the years. I sometimes wish he could see some of my work. Mostly though, I'm just grateful to him for instilling in me one last incredible gift - a gift that has sustained me through this chapter of my life in so many ways I've lost count.