March 25, 2008

Fatherless Birthday

My wife made this photo while my father was watching me practice golf back in 2004

Last night my sleep was disturbed by my thoughts. This doesn't happen very often which may explain a lot of things, but I digress. My thoughts were for a family that experienced a tragedy two years ago.

It was my first month as a photojournalist and my boss sent me to a motor-vehicle accident between an eighteen-wheel truck and a light truck. Soon after arriving I learned that the driver of the light truck had been killed. It was the first time that I had experienced someone elses' loss so immediately after it happened. That day a family in mourning approached me as I made photographs of their reaction to this event that undoubtedly changed their life.

When reflections on what had been seen that day started I realized that it was my father's birthday I was coping with the tragedy of the day and my thoughts turned to my father. In 1999 he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body and eventually he was put in a nursing home.

The day that will be forever etched in my memory as the first time I saw someone killed in a motor vehicle accident is also the same day as my father's birthday. It serves as a reminder that even though someone seems gone in one way the fact that they are still with you is comforting. My sincere condolences for the family who lost their loved one, my thoughts and prayers will always be with them.

This is the family of Earl Shackleford as they approached the scene where the accident occurred.

No comments: