This past week a quote by Mitch Albom from his book, Tuesdays with Morrie spoke to me more deeply with the passing of my brother Doug; “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” As I learned with the passing of my father several years ago, my brother will not truly die as long as he is in my thoughts and memories. Almost every day I have some thought about my life with my father and now I am sure that it will be the same with Doug. While he is now gone, I also know that he leaves behind many, many people who’s path he crossed who will remember him for all the good qualities that he had.
Living now in an age of photography we have a visual aid to remember those who have passed. We now can keep images of love ones at a time when they were at their most vibrant or at the very least at the time which we wish to remember them most. A large part of my life and passion in photography has been centered on the idea that the things that I photographed are being preserved for future generations. While I have always thought that making photographs that record something of the history and culture of the areas that I travel to be images of importance, I also realize that our personal, family photographs are always going to be the most important. The three most important photos that my mother has are three portraits that she has of my father, my brother and I that were taken when we were each in our early to mid 30s. In the recent natural disasters that we have suffered as a country, the one thing that most of those who were left homeless by the destructive powers of hurricanes and tornados, it was family photos that the survivors lamented most. The one thing that they search for among the rubble are the family photos.
The photograph that I featured along with this blog post is a photograph that I did not even take, nor was I even there. It is a photograph of my brother when he was on vacation. I chose it because this picture represents for me Doug in his element. Every year he took a trip to somewhere in Europe. His interest in history and culture fueled his love to travel and it was a highlight for him to see the places that he read about. And while we liked to travel to different areas, a love of traveling was something that we have in common. I thank Ken Carman for providing me with this image.