Take the Picture

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hard to believe, I know. This year is going to be insanely hard not having my dad here. I still can’t believe he is gone. I guess I still expect to get a text or a call from him. I expect to drive to my parents’ house for Christmas and see my dad sitting in his chair watching some educational program. I have to keep telling myself, and reminding myself that dad is gone.

Ironically, when I got divorced I told myself in five years I will be better off. Things will work out for the better. Well, it is five years down the road. I’m still single. Not even chatting with anyone. I still struggle with money. My ex is engaged. My dad is gone. My family is falling apart. Maybe next year will be better…

Last night I did something very difficult. I went through my photos, including watching the slideshow that played at my dad’s funeral. I cried the whole time. He was so happy in every picture. He loved life. I spent hours putting the pictures together into a photo book – I am having it printed online as a hardback full color book. It is sized 5×7 and has over 40 pages. Some pages have one picture. Some pages have seven pictures. I wanted all the pictures of my dad. I want more pictures, there would never be enough pictures…

I noticed a pattern over the years. In the beginning of my marriage, there were more family pictures. As my marriage started going down hill, there were less pictures of my family. My ex hated driving to our families houses. Then after my divorce, I lied to my family for two years. They didn’t know I was still sleeping with my ex. I didn’t know I was still wanting to be with him.

The past three years, I have struggled with money. My car has been a piece of shit. My dad’s health was getting worse. All of these factors made it where we seen each other less and less. I was only driving down maybe three to five times a year. They never drove up to see us. This year, 2018, was a horrible year. Things never worked out like they were supposed to. I don’t have a single picture of my dad from 2018 – that I took. There is not a single picture of my dad with me nor my daughter from 2018.

So, my words of advice: Take the picture.

I don’t care if you are fighting or upset. I don’t care if you just rolled out of bed. I don’t care if you suffer from depression and haven’t brushed your hair in three days. I don’t care if you want to lose weight.

Doesn’t matter!!

Take the picture. Be in the moment. Don’t take for granted that you will get to see your loved ones next week, next month, or even next year. Because you never know.

This year it is going to be hard to take the picture. There is going to be a missing piece, forever – my dad. I don’t know what drama the holiday will bring – drama within my family or drama with my ex.

But, bottom line is we’re going to have to continue on. We’re going to have to turn to each other for support. We’re going to have to live life like my dad lived his – happy, compassionate, and always smiling. He was always ready to take the picture.