Yesterday was my late dad’s birthday. I miss him all the time especially on days like yesterday or when I have special moments in my life that I wish he could be here for. As someone with a photojournalism degree, I don’t ironically have a lot of photos of him and photos of us together are more rare, in part as he didn’t like being in photos and in part as he was often the one taking the photos.
One of the oldest ones I have of us together is one of my favorites, in part as it has us both looking young and in part as it shows so much about us in a single image. This photo was taken in 1990 at the occasion of my Cousin Alysse’s Bat Mitzvah. My dad’s hair had gotten a bit lighter, but was years away from turning gray, and mine was its true dark brown color that often looks black in photos.
My dad smiled as was common for him without no teeth showing, my smile shows only parts of teeth. I believe this was when I had braces (on my top four teeth only) and did what I could to hide them. I look like I’m not focussed exactly on the camera lens, which is likely as even now there are so many photos of me like that even when I try to focus on just the right spot. In spite of all this we look happy, which I know we were, both due to the occasion and to be there together.
As my parents divorced when I was seven, I saw my dad on weekends. We didn’t always get along, both stubborn people with widely different opinions on many things, yet I greatly enjoyed visits with him. My dad enjoyed dressing up a lot, something I’d take many years to truly like. This photo shows him wearing a tie, he almost always wore a tie whenever I saw him, even when we were doing something casual like a movie or bowling.
If my dad were alive today he’d be delighted to be a grandfather and have tons of questions about how things were going. He’d probably want to come to a lot of my appointments and I know he’d have saved every sonogram photo and probably have offered to take maternity photos for me.