There were too many pictures on my phone taking up all the available space and as a result, the phone had slowed to a crawl.
Pictures…almost all with a common subject.
Here’s my son at martial arts, my son at school, my son at home, my son at the coast, my son at the park, my son on a skateboard, my son at Christmas, my son on his birthday, my son at the cabin we rent, my son wondering why I’m taking another picture…
I transferred the photos to my computer where they are now saved with hundreds of other pictures of my son from his earliest years to today.
The pictures aren’t a problem now, they are proof…proof of being present.
You see, I took all of those pictures covering all those years and events…I was there with him to record those moments in our lives.
There are other pictures in my collection of other people and other times in my life, pictures of people and places I’ve known on my journey.
There are no pictures of my own father.
There is no record of he and I sharing any moment at anytime, anywhere.
Not only are there no paper or digital pictures of such an event, there are none in my mind .
I searched…I even opened up the rooms of my memory where there is little but darkness and rot and there was nothing there.
I do not remember him, though I know he was part of my life once…for a while.
I do not remember what he looked like, nor how he sounded, nor how he smelled, nor how it felt to be his son.
I remember nothing but a void, I feel nothing but a void.
My father is an empty picture frame I tried to fill with photos of other men, but the pictures never fit the frame.
It was best left empty.
They say that God will be your father when yours is gone, but it’s not the same.
God cannot be the physical presence and the audible voice protecting you from bullies, helping with your homework, cheering your sports, and teaching you the ways of a woman before you need to know them.
I needed that voice and that presence then and how I wish I could remember it now.
You never stop needing your father…
The void inside me spoke, but the voice was my own…take more pictures today.
Take them everyday.
Those images will bring back your words and your love and your faith when you are no longer able to be there in person.
Let there always be proof of your presence in images… and in his soul.
He will never stop needing his father…
Make your own application…