on Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the past year or so I’ve noticed that I feel guilty when I don’t write in my journal or make sure I get in my own pictures more frequently. From time to time I read my brother Manny’s account that he wrote which concerns the time just prior to, during, and after my father’s death. In the essay, he expresses regret for not taking more pictures of my father. That seems to be a common theme of concern among most people who lose a loved one. Everyone scrambles to find pictures and put together stories from that person’s life.
A lesson that I learned from the decline of my father’s health, is that memory is not something that you can always rely on, so it is imperative that you record things when they happen. I really wish I knew more about my father’s history, his adventures, his successes, his hardships. Most of all, I really would like someway to see what my dad’s thoughts were when he was fully coherent. I never really got to know him before he started to lose his grip on reality. I was too young to realize the importance of it, and probably too preoccupied with trying to grow up as fast as I could to really care.
I really want my kids to have known who their father was when I leave this world. I want them to be able to see how I made my way through life. I want them to see what my concerns and solutions were at each stage of my life, and hopefully they will be able to identify with me more.
Many times a lot of us get camera shy and avoid being in photos; what a selfish thing to do though. I wish I had more photos of my parents. I could look at those old photos that we do have all day. It’s fun to see what they dressed like and to try and imagine what their lives must have been like that long ago before I was even a thought to either of them.
So now I’m over here in Asia, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and even though I may be awkward to ask complete strangers to take pictures of me at various places while I’m traveling, and it sucks to write in my journal, I find motivation to do these things in the idea that I’m providing my unborn children with as much information as I can so as to paint the most complete picture possible of what this time in my life was like. I feel like I owe it to them, and I feel guilty when I fail to do it.