Many years ago I started viewing everything through my camera so as to block out the messiness of what was surrounding simple objects (I still do...it's amazing therapy, being a photographer). It seems that the more "things" I find beauty in, while blocking all the messiness surrounding, the stronger each and every little thing becomes. Inadvertently, this makes me feel more powerful. Does that make any sense??! Images taken while my Dad was sick are probably some of the best images I have. Not because they're technically great, but because they are the ones that have the most feeling, the most power. They're the ones that blocked out the ultimate "messiness" possible...My father dying from cancer. I've been looking back through my images (now that I finally have them accessible after a computer crash) and I thought, rather than post only a song that makes me cry every.single.time it comes on, that I'd show some images that are related to the time when I'd walk around with said song stuck in my head. I'm not trying to be a downer, this is just the reality. And rather than waste money on a therapist... ;)
I had a 'moment', while the kids and I were in our backyard playing with hundreds of ladybugs that came to visit. This little guy, was broken. I named this image, "you may go, but I know you won't leave". I'm sure you can translate the relationship between this little guy and what was happening in my real life. Taken in Spring of 2009.
This image was taken on my Mom's birthday of 09. It gave me hope. I called it "rebirth".
My parents had a hummingbird feeder outside of their home in Nevada. I took this image knowing that I needed to remember how amazing this little guy was. How Dad knew when the same guy was coming to feed (there were a couple regulars but he knew the difference in them). How this little guy would give him an escape for the moment that he fed. I am forever grateful to him for that. As silly as that sounds...he had more impact on our lives than a lot of human beings.
This image was taken in February of 2009 (Spring comes early in Nevada). My Dad lived in DC for many years. When the Capital Mall was in full bloom with cherry blossoms, I always heard about it from him. While he didn't openly admit to his excitement of Cherry Blossom Festival, I knew about it every-single-year. I believe it was something he looked forward to. Cherry blossoms will forever make me think of him. This image hangs in my home.
While growing up my Dad would talk to me about astronomy. The moon, the constellations, the planets. He had a telescope. I loved that thing, even though it wasn't the greatest. I remember looking through it as a child. I took this image and shared it with my Dad, so proud of what I had captured. It became his desktop image on his computer. I saw it was still there after he passed.
I took my family to his site at Willamette National Cemetery a couple weeks ago. The kids put rocks on his headstone. It's still a surreal feeling to visit my Dad's grave site. People say it gets easier. No, it doesn't. Yes, the moments of sadness and anger and longing for just one more day are farther between, but when you have one of those moments, it hurts just as bad as the day you said good-bye.
Here's the last photo taken with my Dad (this was my 31st Birthday).
I would have given anything to fix him.
Hug your loved ones.
"We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly..." Buddha