It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words but I say a thousand pictures is worth one word: Love.
Growing up my Dad was a workaholic. He really wasn’t around much between preparing sermons, actually preaching them, board meetings, deacons meetings, counseling, weddings, funerals etc. I have to admit, I kind of resented it. We looked forward to summer’s at the cottage in Maine because we got a whole month of our Dad not working.
I recently started going through all of our family albums to put together a slideshow for my dad’s 70th birthday. I started to notice something. There was picture after picture of me, my brother, my sister and my mom. Where was my dad? He was the man behind the camera but he was there.
Family vacations in our home are somewhat of a legend. We could bore you for hours with our horror stories and as kids we thought our parents were just torturing us. But our dad was there, orchestrating these trips every step of the way and documenting them on film.
Looking back I remember the long hours my dad worked but I didn’t remember all of the things that I can now cherish forever thanks to the countless pictures he took. What those pictures show is not an absentee dad. They show a man that loved his family and was proud of us; so much so that he photographed every moment. What makes that even more special to me is this is before the age of digital where you can just pick and print the good ones. Film cost money and he spent it on preserving memories.
As an adult of course I can see why my dad worked as hard as he did and that my childhood recollections were from the eyes of a little girl who wanted her daddy home. Now I see the countless lives he touched and changed during those long hours away from us. His love for us is evident in the thousand of pictures I will now cherish for a lifetime.
I am so thankful that my dad took so many pictures. As a mom, and the photographer of the family, I’m not in many of our pictures either. But once in a while I’ll get in front of the camera (thanks to the ‘selfie’) and document that I was in fact there.
A couple of years ago the pictures stopped. As Dementia started to take him from us, the camera disappeared. I had even forgotten that he used to always have one in his hand. I have that piece of me in him; the desire to cherish and preserve everything on film.
My Dad was there a lot more then I remembered. I’m glad I have the opportunity to see that now through pictures. Even more importantly I see the pictures through his eyes as he was taking them; through the eyes of a loving parent who adores their family and wants to preserve every moment so someday their children can look back and say, I remember when…
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