A month ago my dad fell and hit his head while playing hockey with some friends out on the ice. A friendly game of pick up hockey, done the truly Canadian way on a frozen water surface. He fell backwards and hit his head so hard that irreparable harm was done to his brain. Two days later we were asked to make the decision of whether the doctors were to try a second surgery or do we let him go. The decision was as easy as it could possibly be in that type of situation because we knew that the life the doctors were telling us he could possibly have, if he survived, was not one my dad would want. As I sat on a flight to Houston earlier this month I scanned through some old photos on one of the many cameras my dad owned that I borrowed for our trip. We had already booked this trip, months ago, it just happened to fall at a time when my family could really use some time away from reality. I started to look through just the couple of cute photos I had taken of us at the airport and on the plane and as I kept going I remembered that my dad very rarely removed the photos from his camera. So I continued. As I continued I realized I was looking through some of the last memories my dad had.
When someone passes away you go through all the photos of them as you prepare for their funeral. Photos of them with their loved ones, them with their friends and them with some of their favorite things. Because of my dad’s passion for photography going through his camera has left me with a different perspective. A view into some of the last moments in his 60 year life he chose to capture.
Among one of the first photos I came across was one I recognized immediately. It was a random shot of my parent’s kitchen I took by accident. I was over visiting with my parents just days before his accident, the last time I spoke to my dad. I had mentioned that Mekayla, my daughter, wanted to buy herself a new camera. He showed me this camera and said this was what she should be buying. I took the shot accidently while looking through the camera and playing with some of its many features.
My passion for photography and the meaning behind photographs, which I got from my dad, makes me so grateful that I borrowed my dad’s cameras so that I could see some of the last moments in my dad’s life this way.