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He Assumed They Would Be There Forever…Then Reality Set In.

Life can seem so long at times. Watching the clock inch along during the workday and then absolutely fly by after we get home is a daily ordeal that many of us are intimately familiar with. Thinking back, going through grade school seemed never-ending. Sitting through 8th grade history seemed to drag on for hours. The lunch hour was too short. The piles and piles of homework that never stopped…until one day, it did. Suddenly, you’d graduated. Then you’re graduating college. Then you’re saying, “I do.” Then you’re having your fourth kid. For one man, the realization came with a much harsher reality.

As long as I can remember my parents have stood by the door and waived goodbye when I would leave. There was never an, ‘I’ll just let myself out,’ it was always, ‘We’ll walk you to the door.’ I don’t remember when I realized that this goodbye wasn’t a given. One day it would be different. After dad passed mom still came to the door. It wasn’t easy for her. She was mourning the man she had spent nearly 63 years with…her soul mate.

Since mom passed the house just isn’t the same. All my life it didn’t matter what I was going through, home was a safe place.

Mom and dad were in their 80s, and I wanted to see them more often. I generally visited them one to two times a week and always had my camera with me because I just felt like these were moments that I needed to photograph.

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After my dad passed, I started looking through thousands of photographs I have made of my family, and this series stood out to me — the two of them always seeing me out.

The final photograph in the series is the first I made of mom alone at the door. Being widowed myself, I can relate to my mom’s mourning. I’m her baby, the youngest of 11 children, so it’s strange to share this experience.”

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She looks happy to see him, truly…but there is something missing from her eyes compared to the picture before it. She carries her husband in her heart, we can see that. But it just isn’t the same as having him standing next to her to bid her son goodbye. It makes me want to give my parents a great big hug before I don’t have the chance to…These are powerful images.

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