My Annual Thanksgiving Message: We Are a Part of Everyone We Meet

Robert M. Sammon, Sr.

Robert M. Sammon, Sr.

Thanksgiving is a week from today, so I thought I'd re-post my annual Thanksgiving message, which I've been posting for several years. If you have a comment on the topic of "We are a part of everyone we meet," please share it here with a Comment.

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If you lost someone this year, or know someone who lost someone, you might find this well-known quote comforting: We are a part of everyone we meet.

Several years ago, late one December afternoon, my dad and I were sitting in his study. We were having a nice talk – and a nice time. I looked at him and thought: He looks so happy. The light is just right. I should take a picture - because it might be the last good picture I ever take of him. He was fading.

I thought about taking the picture for about 10 minutes, holding back some tears – thinking about what it would be like not to have him around, after having him around for 88 years - as my dad, and later on in life as the first-pass editor for most of my books. (He was a great editor.)

I finally asked him if I could take a shot. He said sure, with a smile and nod. He knew what I was thinking. I asked him to look out the window, and I took a single shot.

My dad, 91, died suddenly and peacefully and quickly on April 3, 2010. A few hours before, while I was on the other side of the country, I had a dream about him: He had pushed his walker aside and was standing up straight. I had not dreamed about him for at least 20 years. Hummm....

Sure, I am very sad. I get waves of tears. I will miss him more than he probably ever realized. He was my dad, a very big part of my life – in fact, half the reason for my life. :-)

Those of you who know me know I enjoy quotes. Here is my favorite: "We are a part of everyone we meet." Want proof? My dad, Robert M. Sammon, Sr., was a photographer, getting me started, along with my mother, in photography with his cameras and basement darkroom. But more important, he was a good dad - which I try to be. Everyday. I am very glad we met.

You might want to keep that quote in mind when you meet people. I sure do. You may have more of an impact on someone than you realize. 

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Here is what a reader of my blog wrote about this picture when it was first published:
- it's full of symbolic, emotional content
- looking into the distance, contemplating the edge (the end) is near, time (watch), space
- life is behind him, yet he is still connected to this world (watch again)
- going through the daily cycle (circular movement in his arms, leading to his aged face)
- growing older by the day
- drawing ever nearer to the edge of darkness
- still grounded to the earth by the cold metal of the walker
- walker keeps him in the photo and connects him to the photographer, his son, his future
-   carry on, carry on my son
- but I am not long for this world
- long have I watched and guided you, but now I am content
- my gaze is directed elsewhere.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Rick

What's new? My 36th book: Creative Visualization for Photographers.