Dad's Camera by Ross Watkins, illustrated by Liz Anelli
bookshelves: alzheimers-and-dementia, family, love, loss, leaving-a-legacy, picture-book, photography
Wow - this book is impactful. It's a reminder to notice the little things and cherish the people you love. It's also a testimony to the power of photography and its ability to capture someone's point of view and memories. It would round out a great text set with Cynthia Lord's Half a Chance and Jordan Sonnenblick's Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip since all three are about Alzheimer's and photography.
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"Scootch! Schootch together!" I cheerfully instructed the women at my friend, Annie's, 40th birthday gathering. We were drinking pomegranate martinis, and I was in full party and picture-taking mode. Her friends, somewhat reluctantly, "scootched" together so I could snap the photo.
Interesting that the mentor picture book today is another story about Alzheimer's published recently for young children. My first blog post of this challenge was on The Remember Balloons, which is about the same topic. This one features photography, which seems especially poignant since we take many pictures to capture memories.
My family thinks I'm obnoxious with my picture-taking. I take pictures anyway because I'm convinced they'll appreciate it someday! If an occasion passes without me (or someone) capturing it in a photo, I feel sad. I want to remember that moment, those people, that laughter. I've passed many an hour enjoying home movies, photo albums, and Shutterfly books. Wherever we've lived, I've created a "family wall" on which I arrange photos of current and past generations, chronicling our family throughout the years. Sometimes I gaze at it, thinking about how each of those faces shape who I am... who our children are.
I realize we are in a photo-obsessed time. We are bombarded with family photos, selfies, and documented occasions on all forms of social media, television, and magazines. Most photos show our best selves, air-brushed, posed, and polished. Our phones are filled with hundreds, maybe even thousands of photos we take all day long; we post, caption, upload, send. I admit, I'm right there with everyone! Some of the specialness of photos is probably wearing off. Will we treasure all these pictures like we did those rarer, slightly fuzzy, unpolished photos of the past? Probably not. But I will still try to document as many good moments as I can. Trying to slow down time. Freezing a frame before it slips through our fingers.
Tonight, our writing group reunited after a LOOONG hiatus. We had so much fun! We didn't write anything, but we laughed a lot! And yes, I made sure we captured it in a picture. I know they'll appreciate it someday!