It’s been a few months since I posted about my professional pursuits. This weekend I wanted to get on track and say something less personal and more meaningful to a wider audience. I started this weekend wanting to say something about how Google and Facebook are screwing over local media organizations.
Then my wife and I got into our post-Christmas declutter tradition and I got sidetracked. Sidetracked by a stack of old photos and negatives I took during my brief time as a photography student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
In that mess of photos however, on a contact sheet containing a dozens of small images, I spotted a face I haven’t seen in years. I spotted the woman who, while not related to me through blood, I have always considered my grandmother.
She passed away more than a decade ago, and this image was captured years before that, but this is the image of one of the most influential people in my life.
Probably the most influential.
She was the neighborhood’s grandmother.
She kept us inline and taught us how to make better decisions.
She let us be silly kids, stupid teenagers, and even dumber young adults.
Personally, she made sure I was proud of my upbringing and kept me honest.
Most of all, she kept me humble.
I try not to have regrets, but when she passed away I didn’t attend a her funeral. I gave some stupid excuse I’m sure.
I remember when I got the call and not knowing what to say and not wanting to say anything because it would have meant an emotional breakdown.
It was an excuse because I was young and afraid. I knew that her funeral would be too much for me. That I would not be able to contain my grief. I didn’t want my friends to see me like that.
As if somehow they would have judged me. They wouldn’t have.
I just wish that I would have believed that at the time.
To this day I regret not making the time to attend, but if I had to guess, she would tell me not to worry about it. That learning from the decisions we make is how we gain wisdom.
Plus, she knew how much she meant to me. I was never shy about sharing that with her.