by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and I'm off-track from photography, but only on the business side. The truth is, we'd all be lost without photographs to look back on those cherished memories. And through the pandemic, behind Sheila, the pups and good friends are our photographs. They've helped me stay focused on not only great memories but reminders that this will be over someday, and we'll get back to a better normal.
Yesterday would have been my Dad's 98th birthday. He made it to 93, but I always take a minute on his birthday to share a Ralph story, look up to the heavens and remind Dad how much I miss him. He was always my best buddy, and moving to Sarasota in 2011, so Sheila and I could give him a hand with Mom, who had Alzheimer's, became one of the best things I've ever done.
Sheila and I got quality time with both my folks. Dad and I got father-son time together, and Sheila got to know both of them before my Mother's Alzheimer's took over.
Born on Halloween, the guy rarely had a real birthday until we were all older. What's ironic is that he was in the wholesale candy business. I had access to a warehouse of goodies and never needed to go out trick or treating, but it was the "hunt" with friends that made Halloween a necessity. His birthday dinner was always rushed, so we could get out in the neighborhood chasing down candy!
So, here's one of my favorite stories: As it turned out, it was just a few weeks before Dad passed away. We were in the emergency room of the hospital. Dad had pneumonia again, and they were keeping him overnight. As the nurses were getting him undressed, for a second he was naked on the hospital bed. "Skip, Skip - get your camera. I want you to take a picture of my tush!" My response, "You want what?" "Yeah, let's show people what a perfect asshole looks like!"
Everyone burst out laughing, even Dad, with a fever and the chills. And I couldn't have been more proud as I looked at the nurses and doctor and said, "Yup, that's my Pop!"
I guess it's strange that I felt a little guilty yesterday, forgetting Dad's birthday. We were busy with some minor remodeling in our house, and between the stress of the noise, dust, and the pups having no place to go, I simply missed it. But that doesn't change how much I miss my folks and the incredible time I got with Dad over his last years.
The pandemic has forced us all into a new normal, but don't let that slow you down on appreciating every photograph or video you've got of memorable moments in the past. They're the perfect vitamin to raise your energy level these days. We'll get back to better times, but for now, cherish those walks down Memory Lane.
And to my Dad - Happy Birthday Pop - Sure do miss you!
Wishing everybody a perfect day of peace and time with some level of contact with those friends and family you cherish the most. Most important of all...
Stay safe and healthy!
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