Today is Father's Day and I've been thinking a lot about my father's life. One thing (among many) I've learned from him is how you have to seize your dreams.
He was a great photographer and yet never pursued it. He took the safe route as an accountant for the IRS,
In some ways I am grateful...but then I wonder...
Six and half years ago, when he was just about to get on with his life -- after years of a horrible marriage -- he was hit with an aneurysm that he has never fully recovered from. Even after all this time he is not the same man. It is like a stranger invaded his body. So in a way a large part of him has died -- his former self and personality -- but he is still alive.
I wrote this poem for him a while back to celebrate his talent and sacrifice.
MY FATHER'S PHOTOS
Every day of his working life
he dealt with
But I believe deep in his
to be a photographer.
His love took seed
during his stint in the Navy.
He served as a photographer on an aircraft carrier
life at sea
and the exotic places they visited:
Later he showed
the same care in documenting
our family's lives with thousand upon thousands
Every step we took from the cradle,
my father was there
The documents of our past,
now sit in boxes in
the closet of my father's den room
like forgotten artifacts
The other day
I pulled one of the boxes out
and looked at the photos.
Faces of my youth
stared back at me
shot with such care and love.
I wondered why my dad shelved
I asked him but he wouldn't say.
He's retired now
but still the photos sit untouched in the boxes.
I even bought him a photo album
but he just put it in one of the boxes.
I think the photos
remind him he put aside his true love
to crunch numbers.
They represent a picture of sadness and regrets.
His dream is languishing
piled in cardboard boxes
captured in pictures of our family's past.