It’s about to get deep here, y’all. Be ready!
I miss my dad. For those of you that don’t know, he passed away from (non-smoker’s) lung cancer when I was just 14. His birthday is coming up, and I just felt like talking about him. Is that ok with you? Good.
Though I lost him at a relatively young age, I knew the kind of guy he was. Easy-going. Funny. Compassionate. Made everyone feel welcome, important, and appreciated. I remember watching him interact with some of his patients, as well as people at church, and thinking, “He talks with everyone so easily, showing true interest in what they have to say.” He and my mom are both like that, so I have always wanted to show the same interest in others (I try!). It may seem little to you, but that’s a quality of his that has stuck in my mind for years.
It’s funny to consider all of the interests/commonalities you pick up from your parents. In my case, I’ve always felt more similar to Mom. While that’s true, the older I get, I’ve been noticing things I have in common with Dad. He loved, *loved* Oldies music. I’m talking doo-wop, y’all. That’s all we would listen to when he would drive me to school, and I couldn’t be more thankful for those memories. (P.S. if anyone has a “Super Gold Oldies Vol. 1 or 2” cassette tape from a Citgo 24 station, and would be willing to let me have it…I will bake you cookies for a year).
Mission trips. Dad went on a few trips to Honduras and Belize over the years, and I have been enamored with looking at his photos from them since I was a kid. He would go with other doctors in town to provide optical, dental, and medical help to those who couldn’t afford it. One of my biggest regrets is that we never got the chance to go on one of these adventures together. Yes, I was young (and not a doctor!), but how I would now love to work with him…helping others! He did teach me how to hammer while working on a Habitat house when I was about 10 – my skills are probably a little rusty 🙂
Photography. Though we never actually discussed it, I can tell by looking at his mission trip photos that he had an eye for it. He would grab candid shots of a little girl sweeping her hut, a man rowing out on his canoe, children dressed in all white, gathered in a worship service…the list goes on. I know it was just a hobby for him, but I love seeing us have a similar “style”. In true daughter fashion, I wish to know what he thought about my happy little business, and if he had any tips for me!
There are so many other little things I wish I had the time to share with you….how he would always high-five us as we were passing the couch and he was watching a football game (eyes not leaving the tv, of course). How he looked at and full-heartedly, lovingly treated our mom – always. How he put hot sauce on everything…and I mean everything. No one is perfect, but I couldn’t be more thankful for my family. Dad loved us, every day of his life. I can’t wait to tell my own children one day about the kind of man their grandfather was.
Missing Dad more as I get older helped inspire me to offer the Daddy-Daughter sessions the past few months. I’ve been blessed with the sweetest, most fun pairs! I have truly enjoyed every minute of taking them, and thinking of him throughout. I wish so much that I had more photos with him, or more home movies. (Side note – wanting to get pictures with my mom soon! Can’t wait!)
A Photographer’s Plea:
If you’re putting off taking family photos, please do it NOW. I’m not trying to be morbid, or push my business. I don’t care if you use a disposable camera in your kitchen or go to another photographer in town. Please find a way to take some family pictures at this point in time, because everyone is constantly changing! Document this moment in your lives, just because. Photography is special, because it lets you remember fleeting moments throughout the years, that you may not think about otherwise. I want you to remember those moments as vividly as possible!
Whew! That was a long one, but I’ve wanted to share for a while. Thank you, readers – I love you all! Now, go hug your family.