This is a photo I took of my dad’s old Polaroid instant camera circa April 1972, One year after I was born. This was Polaroid’s first SLR camera. Its funny how my dad loved taking pictures and he had several cameras in the house yet somehow the shutter bug never bit me until I was 29 and even then I kind of stumbled into it. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what brought this camera to mind and what made me ask my mother to dig it out from where my dad had stored it so many years ago. I only recalled seeing it and playing with it back when I was a teenager but not quite knowing what in the world to do with it. Its been about 8 years since he passed away, There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. To hold this camera in my hand and to know that he used this camera to take my baby pictures and photos of my mother and brother kissing and biting on my chubby little cheeks is kind of surreal. He used this camera to take some of my first steps and some of my first laughs and cries. My dad knew how to capture moments as well. Maybe that’s where I learned it from. I miss him badly. What I wouldn’t give for one more chance to see his Texas sized smile and hear his big bellowing laughter echo through the hallway. One more chance to feel him put his hand on my shoulder and look me in the eye and say,” I am proud of the man you have become Marlon”. I can’t help but wonder if he has met up my other friends and family who have passed on like Carlos, Tina,Uncle Edrie, his mother Mary, and my paw footed extended family like my first puppy given to me by my dad named King, and Sweet William, and KoKo. If you are like me
……..You want to leave a legacy here on earth after you are gone.
……………You want to feel like your life made a difference here.
………………..You hope that your existence made an impact in some small way in this big world.
………………………..You want to feel that your life had purpose and meaning.
There is a saying that goes,” You may just be someone to the rest of the world, but to someone else……..you are the world.” I remember with wide-eyed wonder thumbing through my family photo albums with their sepia brown edges, cracking binding glue and the strong scent of aged paper and film wafting the air with each page turn.. and asking my mom, “who took that picture?”, and “who took this picture?” and my mom saying “Your dad did while we were at such and such a place”. I must admit some of them were pretty darn creative for their time. One of the greatest gifts my father left me wasn’t actually something he gave me but rather it was something he left behind……this camera. Why? because of what it symbolizes. Most fathers envision their sons following in their footsteps in grandiose ways like career paths and taking over family businesses etc, but we often fail to see the more subtle and quiet things that our children pick up on and gravitate toward. I’m sure he never dreamed or expected I would follow in his footsteps this way. That much like him, I would be capturing moments and memories for others to enjoy.