Longing for a Picture with Dad
As Father’s Day approaches, I’m aware of it not so much by the displays at the stores, but more by the pangs I begin to feel in my gut. You see, not having a father on Father’s Day never gets easier. I imagine I’ll be 80 years old and still cry like a baby for missin’ my Daddy.
But in anticipation of this year’s Father’s Day, I knew I might gain comfort from looking back at photos of my Dad and remembering each moment captured. I especially hoped to find the last picture of the two of us before his death, five years ago this August.
First, I came upon the last picture taken of him with my sweet girl.
I then found this one of my Dad with Hubby, after a victorious fishing expedition.
Next, I stumbled upon this priceless photo of my Dad in the White House press room, on a special tour given by my brother, a Secret Service Agent at the time.
And then my favorite one of all, and the way I always want to remember my Dad, carving the last Thanksgiving turkey I ever shared with him.
But still, amidst all the hundreds of photos on my not-so-organized laptop, I could not find one single shot of me and my Dad.
And that is a tragedy.
But it makes perfect sense. As moms, we are usually the ones behind the lens. Snapping away, capturing all of life’s little moments with our family, kids and pets.
But how often does anyone take the camera out of our hands and insist we be part of the memories? And if they do, how often do we scoff, “oh, I don’t have any makeup on,” or “I haven’t brushed my hair.”
Let me tell you, I would give anything right now to have a more recent picture of me and my Dad, no makeup and messy hair. I would look at it and remember what it felt like to stand next to him, lightly catching a whiff of his English Leather cologne, and feel his strong arm around my shoulders.
Because that’s what pictures do, and that’s why we take them, hoard them and post them on facebook. They are the only visual, tangible things that link us to our past and provide a bridge from our minds to our hearts, through our eyes.
The only pic I could find of me and my Dad was from my wedding album, taken 15 years ago.
So this Father’s Day, if you have a father and have the opportunity to be with him, have someone take your picture with him.
It’s okay if you don’t have all your makeup on or you’re having a bad hair day. Trust me, when he’s gone, you won’t care about these petty things.
Take a mental snapshot of what he looks like, smells like and feels like, to go along with the hard copy.
Because one day, sooner or hopefully later, you won’t have that opportunity again.
And you’ll be glad you did.