Saturday, I was in and out of one such trailer. Visiting, playing with one of Andy’s new pups, helping tally scores, whatever was needed. I met some people I’d not seen before. After lunch, Andy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, showed up. (If you read this blog regularly (God bless you!), you know that Andy is Zack the Wonder Dog’s trainer.) Andy’s parents are sweet, precious people. The Andersons are the ones that instilled the love of dogs and hunting in their boys, Andy and Sammy. And Andy and Sammy have passed that same passion for training dogs and hunting to their own children and relatives, as well as to many people in West Texas.
One of the people I met was a young man named Chris. He lives in Wyoming, and works for an oil well service company. He is an avid hunter, and loves dogs, as well. I enjoyed talking to him throughout the day.
At some point, I’m sitting at the table in the trailer, working on scores. I glance over towards the couch. Andy is sitting on the couch with his arm around his dad. It’s all I can do to keep from crying. That man loves his daddy, and his daddy, at age 81, has been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors aren't giving the family much hope. Today, that's hard for me to reconcile. Mr. Anderson tells me about his life – after he served in the war, he went to work for Conoco, and served them 40 years before retiring. He talked about raising dogs, and hunting, and asked me questions, as well. Sharp as a tack, he was. Then Chris comes in, and sits on the opposite side of Mr. Anderson, and puts his arm around him. Sammy steps up into the trailer, and sits at the table beside me. I ask him a question about Chris, and I’m quietly told that Chris is their nephew – he is Mr. Anderson’s grandson.
It all comes together for me, then. And somehow, I realized…my camera is right in front of me. I grabbed a couple of shots of Mr. Anderson and Andy, then asked and was granted permission to take pictures of this family. We got some wonderful shots. I developed the shots that night, and delivered pictures and disks the next morning. Everyone seemed very pleased.
My favorite shot of Andy and his father - natural lighting. Gotta love it!
My brother and I would give anything for pictures of my Mom late in her life, or better yet, with all of our family. Days like Saturday bring it on home for me - how I miss her.
I encourage you - grab your camera – set up some shots with your family. This weekend, I was reminded of the brilliance of a life. Capture it while you may. Today is only one day – and the length of this day may be but a heartbeat.