Monday, March 09, 2009

Lakeland 3-9-08-262

Some blog posts just shouldn't be titled and this is definitely one of those posts. The above photo, at least for me, says it all. One year ago today my grandfather passed away. Fortunately, the day before I had the chance to say goodbye one last time. Fittingly he left us on a Sunday which was the day we would always eat lunch or dinner together as a family over at my grandparent's house. I have so many amazing memories from these family dinners I can't help but smile remembering all of the good times. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities I had to spend time with him, the stories he told that I will never forget, and the love he shared.

Unfortunately after a full day last year I had to return from Lakeland to Jacksonville to attend classes for two days prior to returning home later in the week for the memorial service. When I got back to Jacksonville I just wasn't quite ready to go home yet so I went to one of my favorite places to take pictures. It was around sunset and I had my camera with me but I didn't have the intention to take any pictures - I just wanted to relax and reflect on the day and my life up to that point. When I got to the dock I was the only person there and the silence and loneliness was amazing - as it turns out exactly what I needed. Physically my grandfather was not with me, but with the beauty all around me and the warmth I felt I knew he was all around me. I shot a few frames and then would just stand and reflect and take in the sunset and the whole scene. Those 45 minutes alone on that dock helped me more than I ever could have imagined.

The above photo was one of the shots I took that evening and is one of my all time favorite photos. The pathway down the dock represents to me the path of mourning the loss of someone very important to me. Of course you can see an end to the path but the amount of time it takes someone to get to the end of that path depends on the individual - some faster than others. The side planks represent all of the support and love he gave me over the years. Without that support I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today. The golden tones in the wood represent all of the fond memories I have of him and the amazing stories he shared. The blue color of the sky and background fit the mood I was in at the time, sad, yet at peace. The impending darkness symbolizes the end of something great but with every night comes a new day tomorrow and that is an eternal truth.

All of that out of a photo of a dock after sunset on one of the worst days of my life.

It is funny to me, any time I show at Artwalk and display this shot, regardless of where I place it, or what I display it with, this photo always gets the most comments and attention from everyone. I love the picture because of what it means to me - when it was taken and what it represents but I find it odd some of the reactions I get however it is very pleasing considering how much the shot means to me. Every time I get a positive comment I always smile and think to myself "if you only knew."

I had the chance to revisit the dock again today. I arrived like I always do, looking for peace and maybe a few decent photos. The below shot is from this evening's sunset and my new friend Steve returning home to his boat, the Nova:

09032009-03-09 County Dock039-55

Today may not have been the happiest days for me, but it certainly wasn't a bad day at all. I spent a lot of time remembering the good times and reflecting on how truly lucky I am. You will always be fondly remembered and missed Pawpaw.

1 comment:

The Vital Muse said...


1- Great tribute to your grandfather. 2- Great photos (no surprise) 3- Congratulations, counselor, on your graduation -- now about the bar exam...?

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