On Friday, August 5, 2011, my dad passed away.
There are so many things I want to write about, but I'm not ready to share yet. Still, I want to say this quick thing.
I've spent hours since Dad's death looking through photographs. Old pictures stuck in those metallic photo pages—some I have never seen before. My own pre-digital pictures. Every single folder on my computer. I've been working on this:
I have so many good pictures. Photos of Dad with Mom. With Kendell. With my kids, and even by himself.
You know what I don't have? One single, solitary photograph that includes just me and my dad before he got sick.
Not even one.
A few weeks ago, Kendell took this picture of me and Dad in the courtyard at his home:
And of course: I love it. I'm grateful to have one last picture.
But oh, how much I wish I had one photo of the two of us together, before this hideous disease got a hold of him. This realization makes me weep.
So here is what I have to say: just go and do it. No matter how fat, grey, wrinkled, shriveled, or otherwise unattractive you might think you are. Get a photo. Not a group photo. Not an event photo. Just a picture of you with a person you love. Then do it again with another person you love. And then, again. Don't worry about feeling self conscious, or that someone might think you're weird for asking to have your picture taken, or that you want to lose five pounds first, or get your hair done, or at least put some make up on.
None of that will matter when that person you love can no longer be in a picture—because he or she is gone. What will matter is that you have it, that image. You won't look at it and think "look how fat I am." You'll look at it and think: I miss you, so how glad I am to have this picture of just us.