Today’s lives are busier than ever. We hustle, filling each day, hour, and minute with as much as possible. Attempting to cheat death at its own game. Then it happens… you know IT. The “IT” can be anything ~ illness, a death of a loved one, some sort of emergency, something that forces you to S L O W down and pay attention to what is around you.
These events play over and over in our lives, we slow down for a while, then the memory fades and we begin to fill up our time again until the next “IT” comes along.
I am just as guilty as the next person, I have had my fair share IT’s; children, births, deaths, my own illness and just recently the sudden illness of my Dad. The recent one came at a very inopportune time ~ right at finals for summer semester! I had to make a choice, do I take the day and drive the 3 hours each way to be with my Parents as my Dad needed heart surgery? Or do I keep filling my day with class work?
I chose to take the day and go be with my parents at this time. Best choice I could have made ~ did it cost me points on my GPA, maybe. Did it cost me time, yes, but one thing I have learned from my time behind the lens, moments pass… quickly. If we do not capture the moments when we can, when they happen, they are gone for ever!
Another lesson I have learned is to really, I mean really, see my surroundings. Up until this past week, I have always seen my Dad as a strong, capable man. For the first time on Tuesday, I saw him as the aging soul he is. Seeing him lying there in the hospital bed, looking so much like his own Mother and Father in their final days/months, was very difficult to wrap my head around. Would I make the same choice tomorrow if the circumstances arose ~ YES, with only one small change ~ I would also choose to pull my camera out and document the moment, one that has passed, never to be caught again, but sometimes just being part of the moment is good too.