28. PhotosMy father wasn’t in any of the photos that I could find.

Mom wanted something for the visitation and the funeral, and I honestly didn’t think it would be that big a deal to find something. We had always had cameras around when I was growing up. There were a ton of photos of us at various vacations, games or celebrations. My favorites were the candid photos Dad liked to take, which captured moments we never thought needed capturing — until time passed along.

As I looked through photo albums, shoe boxes, drawers and, for later photos, my parent’s computer, I couldn’t find any of Dad anywhere. My sister and I were well represented, as was Mom. Dad loved to take photos of Mom, even though in later years she became more reluctant to pose for him. The challenge made him redouble his efforts, which was something I always loved about him.

I took all the photos I could find, sat in the middle of the living room, and started to sort the photos by “best-guess” date. It was something to do, and I could have missed something.

After a couple of hours, it finally dawned on my why I was having such a difficult time finding him in the photos. He was always behind the camera. All the photos I was now surrounded by were from his vantage point behind the lens.

I cried for the first time since he died.