Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grandma and The Lord's Prayer

Day 64 - Photo 64. These are my grandmother's glasses. She only needs them to read and given the fact she's 94-years-old, I think that's pretty good. But, she didn't have such a good day today. She's been in the hospital for the past two days. We're not sure what's wrong. She's not herself. She had a few lucid moments, but for the most part...she's not herself.

Throughout my career as a photojournalist I've been witness to and photographed my share of misery, death and dying. It's never been easy. There have been times I've been unable to focus the camera because of the tears in my eyes. You always try to keep your distance and not become involved, but it's difficult. And you always, always, go for the best photo. Today was different. It was still about the best photo, but best redefined itself as I stood there watching this once powerful woman lying there staring at the ceiling not being able to recognize who I was. I couldn't hide behind the camera and pretend it was all about the photo. I made a few photos of her but knew I'd never use the photo here on this blog.

I have this memory of my grandmother, a devout Catholic, with a set of Rosary beads reciting Hail Mary's and The Lord's Prayer. Ever time I've visited my grandmother, for as long as I can remember, she'd tell me. "You know Rick, I pray for you. Every night I pray for you and your family. All of my family. The living and the dead." And I'd reply, "I know you do Grandma, thank you." Today when I saw her glasses with those beads attached the memory of the grandmother praying the Rosary came roaring back and I knew I'd found a way to portray my grandmother in an earnest and respectful way.

As we prepared to leave for the evening my grandmother was reciting the Lord's Prayer nearly unmindful of the fact that we were still there. And I knew she was praying for me and for all of my family. All of our family. The living and the dead. "Thank you Grandma, I'll pray for you too."

1 comment:

Barbie Fiske-Phillips said...

...and I will pray for you, my friend.