Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting a Little Personal

I'm sure you have noticed a long pause on my blog entries lately. This was due to the fact that I recently lost a great man in my life, my grandpa.  I have been blessed in my 29 years to have known both sets of my great-grandparents on my mom's side and grandparents on both sides of my family.  But as with life when we get older we do have to say good-bye.  I lost all of my great grandparents at a fairly young age, save my granny whom I lost in 2004. Other than that my life has been relatively free from funerals and the like.  When I got the call last Monday morning that my grandpa had finally found peace from his illness it was a bit of a shock.  We did your standard things to get ready for a funeral.  I booked my plane ticket and made my way back to Ohio.  It was good to be with my family to grieve and at the same time rejoice at this man's amazing a much lived life. 

One of the most treasured parts of the funeral and visitation was a PowerPoint of pictures of my grandpa. Being a photographer I am keenly aware of a lost moment when there is not something there for snapshots, therefore to see that his life was well documented made me smile.  There were photos there I had never seen. It was so great to see the robust, impish grin of a man full of many talents who overcame a hard life to lead a family towards Christ and ministry.  In less then a week I'll be traveling back up to Ohio on my first initial trip for Thanksgiving.  Though it will feel a little different not having my grandpa there,  I will find comfort in seeing his face among the many captured moments encircled by pieces of wood and plastic.  You never know how important that meaningless snapshot is until that person is no longer there to photograph. 

So my challenge to you is take photos like there's no tomorrow this holiday season.  Catch your Uncle Joe making faces, or your Aunt Ruby in that ugly Christmas sweater she loves.  Take the everyday and make memories last.


  1. Thank you for the push to photograph memories and the poignant reasons why. I'm sorry you lost your grandpa....

  2. I'm sorry for your loss Rachel - your grandpa sounds like a special man. We did a story board at my late husband's funeral 8 years ago - and everyone enjoyed seeing him at every stage of his 42 year young life - the photos brought back alot of cherished memories for a lot of people! I'm sure the powerpoint presentation did the same for those who loved your grandpa!

    Something thing to remember with photos is to be sure to note who's in each photo and what year it was taken...helps tremendously when future generations are trying to remember who that man or woman was in that photo... and if any family members look a lot alike - it will resolve any disputes! (although the disputes can prove to be pretty interesting!)

    Take care... my prayers are with you and your family :)


  3. HA! good point Karen. That actually happened. My mom and I are disputing over whether or not I'm one of the little girls in a photo with grandpa. I think it's my cousin but my mom thinks it's me. lol we still kinda laugh about it.

  4. It's amazing how much family members can look alike at different points in their life, isn't it? My hubby installed some new facial recognition software for our digital photo collection and it's really struggling with some people. Mistakes my oldest granddaughter for me when I was little... my daughter when she was little and her oldest daughter now, my two grandsons that are brothers, and my sister and one of her girls. The future generations will have it rough trying to sort out our!

  5. I'm sorry for your loss. I have wonderful memories of both of my grandpas, but few photos of either!


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