My wife is an amazing photographer. I have never been much of a picture-taker, and often would rather not stop the moment to capture it in some artificial way. But, Melanie taught me something different. You think you will remember, but you don’t. And I remember this each time I see an image from the early days of fatherhood and bask in the flood of sweet memories. You forget the little stories that make up and lead to the beauty and fullness of the present moment. Pictures surely are worth a thousand words— but sometimes you need a few more.
I keep this picture close because it speaks of the ultimate joy of fatherhood—in my eyes. To share a moment that is thousands of moments in the making. The picture tells a story, one that all fathers and mothers can relate to on some level. But the words not captured in the frame are what makes the moment singular and foundational.
The image does not speak of the long road, the doubt, the heartache, the sacrifice of a young man who, dehydrated and at wit’s end, found something inextinguishable inside. It does not capture the soul of his coach, Rhonda Blanchard, who did so much for him… and would leave this earth too soon, only months later.
The beauty of the picture is the essence of the moment, worth a thousand words for a father and son who could not find any words in that moment. Just hanging on as time ceased its march—for just a moment.