Saturday, June 23, 2012

P52 Photo Challenge - Fathers - Week 25

For this week's P52 challenge, the theme is "fathers." Because my dad died on January 5th of this year, this was the first Father's Day without him.

For his funeral, I created display boards that showed different aspects of his life (e.g., childhood; service in the army during the Korean War; professionally as a school social worker; through service as a Boy Scout leader and Big Brother through the Big Brother/Little Brother program; with family and friends; and spiritually as a Deacon through his church).

In the months that have followed his death, I have been going through his offices at home and coming across some more pictures from his life.

Top center: Dad in a co-worker's office in 1975 at the beginning of his work in the Minneapolis school system; 
To the right/top: School photo taken in January 1979 when he was 47 years old; 
Below that: When he was in the U.S. army in 1955 or 1956 at 23-24 years old - he was on a short break in Japan;
Lower right: Dad with Olivia - around 2005 when Olivia was 2 years old;
Lower left: Sophia, Mom, and Dad - around 2006 when Sophia was 5 years old;
Middle  left: School photo taken in October 1987 when Dad was 55 years old;
Top left: Sophia and Olivia with Dad and Mom around 2007 when Olivia was 4 and Sophia was 6 years old.
Center: Portrait taken for his first business cards in the insurance business. "I wasn't a good salesman," he would say in his later years. He found his calling shortly after - working with teens as school social worker, and then later in the life with people of all ages as a deacon.

Yesterday, as I began cleaning a section of my office at home, I opened a bin that had lots of pictures from the early 2000s. In it were several pictures of my dad with Sophia and Olivia when they were much younger.

It's been difficult to remember these happier times when my dad was unaffected by Alzheimer's Disease. The last few years when Alzheimer's had a firm grasp on his mind and body, cloud these other wonderful memories. Perhaps it's because these more challenging memories are fresher in my mind, and I was more involved with caring for him.

Whatever the reason, I think it's important to find and look at pictures from the pre-Alzheimer's years. These are the ones that truly reflect who my dad was, the impact he had on my life (and literally thousands of others because of the type of work that he did professionally and personally), and the love he had for his family.

Project 52 - p52 weekly photo challenge with Kent Weakley


Brandi said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your father had a full and wonderful life, and I hope those memories will be the ones that persist over time.

Julie Anne said...

So thankful for the happy memories for you! I'm sorry for your loss!

I love the collage idea for a P52 entry!! :) sometimes one photo isn't enough

Rita said...

A handsome young man, but he really looked good in a beard, too. Good thing you have lots of pictures that you can share with the girls and tell them all your memories of your dad. :)

Donna said...

So sorry for your loss. Seek those earlier memories by talking about him with family and looking at those pictures. May those memories bring you comfort.

What Remains Now said...

What a beautiful and honest tribute to your wonderful father.