Last weekend, we went to KC to visit with my grandparents. Our family is one of with plenty of members who are awkward when a camera comes out (I come by it honestly!) so what I usually end up with is a batch of photos of people who look very angry with life.
When one of us is doing our best to ditch the comtemplative serial killer look, the results are just as disasterous.
A bunch of Smiling Bobs is definitely not a flattering look in family photos.
There is one person in our family who has always managed to have many moments where he was at ease with the camera. Instead of the look of a contemplative serial killer, he came across as very handsome and distinguished when he looked at the camera and dared it to blink first. Old photos of him in his Navy or TWA uniform leave you with a feeling of reverence.
As he's aged, it's been a little more difficult to get that same feel in a photo of him. I don't know if it's because he's "just" a husband and a dad and a grampy now, allowed to finally relax and be relieved of the charge of being the man whom everyone in his community turned to for help solving problems with everything ranging from finances to car repair to plumbing. Maybe it's as simple as I stink at portraits and don't make people feel at ease in front of the camera. Whatever the reason, I've done a poor job of documenting the life of my family in photos.
I mentioned last week in another blog post that my grandpa is facing an upcoming surgery to have one of his kidneys removed. Being quite frank, although he's stubborn as a mule and facing this head on with a most positive attitude, it's a 4-5 hour surgery and he's having a major organ removed. As fierce as his determination is to continue to beat the cancer he's been fighting for over 10 years, he's going to be 88 years old this year so I'm pretty uneasy about it. So I decided to take my camera out during our visit this weekend and be grateful for whatever photos I could get.
When I looked at my LCD screen and saw this, I saw a glimpse of what I remember from photos of Grampy in the past. There's that look. And then right along with it is evidence of that nurturing side that draws everyone in. The dog is my little sister's dog and after he races through the door and makes his rounds looking for crumbs on the floor, lying on Grampy's lap is where he prefers to spend the majority of his time.
If you're one who prays, I would appreciate any prayers you can offer up for my grampy. His surgery is scheduled for the beginning of March.