Talkin’ To Papa
To the younger generation, it may come as a shock to know that there was a time when we did not carry cameras around in our pocket every second of every day. There was a time when we just had to remember how things looked. Heaven knows how we made it all those years without being able to look back at the hamburger we had a few months back.
Obviously cameras existed when I was a kid, but not every family had one and we weren’t exceptional at keeping up with the photos after they were developed, so it’s always a pleasant surprise when one family member or another comes across a previously unknown photo. You see, developing photos was…well..nevermind.
Two such photos have recently surfaced, each of them candid moments captured at my Nana and Papa’s house in Florence, AL. It was Christmas time in each, and what stands out to me is that in each photo Papa is talking to one of his three sons. In one, he’s talking to Daddy on an old couch. A family heirloom that’s now in my childhood home. He’s wearing his short sleeved coveralls and tall lace up boots.
Just the way I remember him.
It’s not really exceptional that he would talk to his sons except for the fact that that is precisely how I remember him. He was a Gideon, an engineer, a leader in his church, a husband, and a gardener.
While he excelled at all of those things, his example of what a Father is stands out the most to me and these photos represent that so well.
He was present and interested. He was patient and kind. He lead by example and integrity. He was what my Daddy tried to be and what I have spent the last nearly ten years trying to be too.
I look at these pictures often and wonder what they were talking about; I wish we’d known to take more photos, but maybe it’s the few stolen moments that we do have that makes them more precious.