Remembering Why I Do What I Do

Last week I took a trip to a suburb of Toronto, Canada to attend the memorial service of my Aunt Lynn.  

My Aunt and I had been very close.  And while we had lost some part of her years ago to Alzheimer’s Disease, her physical passing was hard.  She was an amazing woman with a loud laugh and a fierce way of loving those around her, especially her family. 

I flew back east with my dad and stepmother.  Once there, we met up with one of my brothers, my cousins and two of my uncles.  All people I love but, because of distance, I rarely see.

In the days leading up to the memorial service we did what I think most families do during such times. We looked through photos, told stories, laughed and cried. 

Going through all the old pictures was amazing.  I saw photos of my family I’d never seen before.  An image of my parents before they were married.  My Dad as a young boy that could have easily been mistaken for my son Dexter. My Aunt’s old modeling photos that had been taken when she worked at the Washington Post in the late 1950’s (I’d never known that she modeled or had worked for the Washington Post).

As we were looking through all the old images, I was struck by a couple of things that I’ve been thinking about ever since.  

The truth is, sometimes I feel like I have a silly job.  

With all the craziness in the world, I often question if I should be doing something with my life that helps people.  I take photos.  Shouldn’t I be doing something more important?  

Sitting with my family last week and going through all the old photos reminded me that I do do something important.

I was reminded that pictures matter.  They connect us to our past.  They inform future generations.  They tell the story of who we were, how we lived, and who we loved.

My aunt lost her memories long before she died.  But we still have her pictures. They saved some of those memories for us.  What a gift.

So to you, my client, I just want to say thank you. Creating photos of you and your family means the world to me.

Thank you for allowing me into your life.  

Thank you for trusting me with your memories.

I’m happy to be heading into the busy fall season with a renewed sense of what I do and why I do it.  And I can’t wait to get started.

Sandra CoanComment