This isn't the best picture in the world, is it? I obsessively try to carry a camera around with me everywhere, and take pictures to document everything, including 2 year birthday parties at Burger King with hyperactive children who don't like to sit still, and because of this I don't always take the BEST pictures in the world, so some of you may be wondering why I'm posting this picture here.
On Monday, I got a voice mail from my friend Michelle saying that her father had died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack and she'd have to be going out of town. She was gone for several days, just coming back on Saturday. She got a hold of me and we talked for awhile on the phone that afternoon (I only got about 5 minutes of sleep due to this, but some things are more important than sleep). During this conversation she told me that since she's been estranged from her family for years she doesn't go to family functions, and she's pretty poor, so she doesn't own a camera, so she doesn't have any recent pictures of her dad (the last one she has is of him holding Aiden, her son, right after he was born 2 years ago) and she was really sad about that. We agreed to hang out and go shopping, so we got off the phone, and after I hung up I remembered that at Aiden's 2nd birthday party a month ago I took a picture of Michelle's dad. I didn't remember if the picture turned out well, but I decided to look it up and see. I viewed the picture online, and I admit, it's not the best. There's food all over the table, it's not centered, and my photography teacher would have nailed me for it, but it's got all three of them in the frame (Michelle, Aiden, and her dad Gary, and you can see how much they all look alike), they're all looking at the camera smiling, and I thought it might work, so I logged into my WalMart photo account and ordered some prints of it. When we went to the store I told Michelle about the prints, so we waited for them at the 1 hour photo counter, and the second she saw the prints she started bawling in the middle of the store. Aiden was in the cart, and he pointed at the pictures and said "Papa!" and then she and I BOTH started crying.
I think about this a lot, especially around the holidays. Ever since last year, I thought about how I don't have many pictures of my friends and I need some, because I want to document the memories I have before they slip away. I don't have any pictures of myself and some of my friends who have died, and that makes me sad. This is one of the reasons I never leave home without my camera now (or I try not to) because you never know. This is one of the reasons I was so sad when it broke...it's a tool I can use to capture those moments before they slip away. This is one moment I'm glad I got a chance to see.