Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Thanksgiving Message: We Are A Part of Everyone We Meet

If you lost someone this year, or know someone who lost someone, you might find this well-known quote comforting: We are a part of everyone we meet.

This is a post from last year year, but I thought it was appropriate for this holiday season.

Three years ago, late one December afternoon, my dad and I were sitting in his study. We were having a nice talk – and a nice time. I looked at him and thought: He looks so happy. The light is just right. I should take a picture - because it might be the last good picture I ever take of him. He was fading.

I thought about taking the picture for about 10 minutes, holding back some tears – thinking about what it would be like not to have him around, after having him around for 88 years - as my dad, and later on in life as the first-pass editor for most of my books. (He was a great editor.)

I finally asked him if I could take a shot. He said sure, with a smile and nod. He knew what I was thinking. I asked him to look out the window, and I took a single shot.

My dad, 91, died suddenly and peacefully and quickly on April 3, 2010. A few hours before, on the other side of the country, I had a dream about him: He had pushed his walker aside and was standing up straight. I had not dreamed about him for at least 20 years. Hummm....

Sure, I am very sad. I get waves of tears. I will miss him more than he probably ever realized. He was my dad, a very big part of my life – in fact, half the reason for my life. :-)

Those of you who know me know I enjoy quotes. Here is my favorite: "We are a part of everyone we meet." Want proof? My dad, Robert M. Sammon, Sr., was a photographer, getting me started, along with my mother, in photography with his cameras and basement darkroom. But more important, he was a good dad - which I try to be. Everyday. I am very glad we met.

You might want to keep that quote in mind when you meet people. I sure do. You may have more of an impact on someone than you realize.

Proud son of Robert M. Sammon, Sr.


Andreas Guther said...

This is a very touching post. I know that is not why you have written it, but I just want to say that I am sorry for your lost. We always have to be aware that our parents and other loved ones are not around forever. And two great portrait pictures as well.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful and touching. The power of the camera to capture such a poignant moment that allows us to share your moment in time.

Susan Carroll-Seger said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also knew, in that moment, that I had taken my dad's last portrait...he past several years later.

Lori said...

What a beautiful image of your dad and memory to reflect on. It sounds like you and he were very close.

It would seem to me that the timeliness of your dream about your dad wouldn't be so far-fetched. My dad passed in July of 2008. In October of that year, my mom and sisters went to the lake where my parents vacationed for the past 30 years. Though unexplainable, this is an image captured on my sister's camera when she set it on timer and snapped the picture.


I know shots can be manipulated and you don't know me from Adam, but the only editing done was crop and conversion to B&W. To say we were shocked at the image is an understatement. But we also find it comforting.

Anonymous said...

Very nice images and story. I lost my Dad tragically in 1984 and still think of him just about everyday. Cherish the ones you love while you have them, and tell them how much you love them. You might never get the chance to do so if you wait too long and they you will have nothing left but regrets.

PaulS1127 said...

Ah yes parents, and what they mean to us. It hurts for real when they are gone. Thank goodness for photography and the images and memories they contain. Thank you for sharing, it brought back images of my dad and how hard he worked to raise seven children.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rick, thanks very much for this nice post. I wish you and your family a great holiday season and warm memories of your dad. Bas van Hemert

RoseAllen@ Hawaii Wedding said...

I am so impressed how get to see a beautiful rainbow on this kind of happening. But I am honestly more than afraid to see anyone passing right before my eyes. I felt so terribly afraid and I don't want anyone dying. but I am happy for you since you have a brave heart.