Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tragic Irony and Tender Mercy

The Story behind the Photograph

This is my favorite picture of my dad.  It is exactly the way I remember him.  It was taken by Bonnie Bracken in St. George, Utah just a few  weeks before his surgery.  My dad had to have this picture taken because the philanthropic organization, The Foundation of Dixie Regional Medical Center, wanted to honor him on May 24, 2010 for his long-time support of the hospital.  Two weeks later on June 1, 2010 my dad had his surgery.  What none of us anticipated is that the hospital he esteemed so highly and supported for decades would be the very place where he would lose his life.  He died six months ago today on June 16, 2010.  I feel so blessed to have such an exceptional, current photograph by which to remember him.  His smile.  His eyes.  This picture has already been worth a thousand words to me.  This is how I imagine his angel face, except now he does not need glasses and now he has two eyes, not one.  His Mona Lisa smile changes according to my mood.  He looks concerned when I am sad.  And when I am happy or laughing at something Tennyson has said, that is when his smile seems to be the biggest.  This picture is at once a tragic irony and a tender mercy of the Lord.  Would I rather have my dad, instead of a photograph?  Without question, yes.  But I cannot turn back time, so I am grateful that I have it.  In this photograph he looks as alive as I remember him being.  


Anonymous said...


Bonnie Bracken said...

I also was sorry to hear about your dad passing away. I am so pleased to learn that some of my photographic efforts have brought solice in your suffering. He was a very special man.
Bonnie Bracken

Ye Stewart Clan said...

This photograph is priceless to me. Thank you so much for capturing him so perfectly.