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

Robert M. Sammon, Sr.

Robert M. Sammon, Sr.

It's that time of year (already), time for me to repost 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 37th book: Evolution of an Image.