Friday, August the 4th, 2017 was a bittersweet day for my family and myself. It was a day we laid to rest our "Pa" after a long and successful life.
At 95 years of age, Ted had accomplished so much; from marrying the love of his life, fighting for his country & running a successful business; but as he would often say, his biggest accomplishment and what he was most proud of, was his family.
Like many of us, Pa wasn't too keen on having his portrait taken; an aversion you kind of have to overcome with a professional photographer as your granddaughter-in-law. I often had my camera on hand at our important family milestones and one day, when my niece's baptism ceremony had just ended, I quickly turned around in my seat and took a portrait of Pa.
This portrait turned out to be one of the favourite images of Pa I owned. In fact, as it hung proudly on our wall at home, a lot of family members who saw it, felt the same. The thing was -it wasn't even the best image in terms of composition but no one was looking at that. It was a real moment of pure emotion. It was Pa.
I find it very hard to put into words the honour I feel, that this image featured throughout his funeral service. As I looked at this framed print of Pa, placed on his coffin, I was instantly taken back to the moment I captured it; I could still hear him laughing at me and remember the thoughts and feelings of love I had for him in that exact moment.
Not only that - I felt like he was looking at me - because, after all, when I had taken his portrait all those years ago, he WAS looking at me- and that print was then sitting on his coffin for his loved ones to see.
It was a powerful moment for me; what I do is truly important.
Over the next day, I was again reminded of the importance of tangible prints, as Pa's old photo albums came out for the family to see, touch, laugh and reminisce over.
Something happens to us when we see prints of our families. We well up with pride and want to show people; we travel back in time and can see and feel details long forgotten; we are reminded of what matters and how time moves too quickly, and to treasure the moments we have today.
Family isn’t an important thing; it’s everything – so let’s document yours!
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