Catching Some Rays

Of all the photographs I’ve taken, this is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a picture of my Dad, catching a nap, on his cherished, Thrift Drug, foldable chaise lounge chair. During the summer, he would zip home from the office at lunchtime, whip off his dental gown, and catch a few rays on our back patio. He really loved the sun.

“Bald heads look better with a tan”, he used to tell me. In those days, he didn’t wear sunscreen and from the look of his chest, can you blame him?

Photographs can tell you a lot. This one not only reminds me of my Dad’s ability to chill, but it also reminds me of why I spent years in electrolysis. Genes are a powerful thing, you know.

It’s been ten years since my Dad left this earth. He died in an I.C.U., tethered to a bunch of life saving equipment that ultimately failed to do its job. I am not the only one in the world who has witnessed a parent or loved one leave life this way. It is nothing short of horrible and if you’re not careful, it can burn a haunting image in your memory.

Thank goodness for the power of strong visuals. I have found that old photographs can provide the necessary assistance for coping.

Frida Kahlo mustache not withstanding, this photo always makes me smile and is the one that I have buried in my heart.

 

 

2 comments

  1. What a wonderful and moving tribute to your dad, Susan. We easily hear your own voice in your words, and feel them too. This photograph is so strong that we not only see but also feel your dad’s deep sense of calm, of shutting off the world. Of giving gentleness and peace of mind to himself —so well deserved after a hectic morning on his dental floor with his needy patients. He could relieve their pain with his tools and attention, but he also needed (and thankfully squeezed in) precious time for himself. And thankfully you took this great photo that captures this cherished moment and the warmth, and understandably brings you much welcomed comfort. Well done. ❤️

    Like

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