Friday, January 19, 2007

In Memory

Wow. What a whirlwind week.

I had many posts that I had planned for this week, but they got put aside in the list of "not-so-important things" after the unexpected death of my father-in-law on Sunday morning, January 14.

James was only 64 years old and had gone in for a pretty routine surgery to remove pressure from his siatic nerve which was causing him pretty constant pain throughout the past year. 2 surgeries and 17 days later, his pain finally subsided as he met his Father in Heaven.

There are many uncertainties in life--such as, how many days we have on this earth--but I can tell you without a doubt that my father-in-law ~a wonderful, loving, kind-hearted man who loved his family and pretty much every person that ever crossed his path~ has passed from this life into a new eternal life in Heaven because of his love for and faith in his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of all the chaos and confusion and sadness, our family has truly experienced a peace that passes understanding.

I feel blessed to have a career in photography, but mostly it just seems like a trivial, "icing on the cake"-type thing that I get to do. But, for the first time, I have seen how important something as simple as a photograph can be to a family. My mother-in-law approached me about 6 months ago requesting that I take head-shots of both her & James. I was curious & she explained that she hated it when people used 50 year old pictures for obituary photos in the newspaper. I understood her reasoning, but I never dropped by with my camera shouting, "Hey! Let's go out & take some obituary pictures! Waa-hoo!"
When I set up to take the grandkids portraits at Christmas (see "Mi Familia, part 1"), she let me know that I was not to put away the gear until I got a picture of both her & James. I agreed. We took care of business. It took me a while to edit pictures after Christmas (you know, the old post-Christmas catch-up!), but I finally finished and I ordered large prints of the grandkids for the living room wall as a gift from me and decided that she'd probably want a couple of prints of their head-shots as well.
The pictures came in just a few days before James' death.

When my husband & the rest of her kids asked if they had made any preparations ahead of time (for funeral arrangements), she answered, "No." The only thing we had done was taken care of that obituary picture!

I've never been so glad that I took a photo. I love this picture of James...he was always joking and kidding around with people & it was rare for him not to have a silly smirk or smile on his face.

And you know what else? We had a slideshow put together for his funeral service. We had the BEST time going through old pictures and remembering together!

Photography is certainly not the most important job we could have on this earth...but photography does have the power to impact lives and families in a powerful way. I'm so thankful that I can have a part in that.

And I'm very, very thankful that I got to be a part of the life of James Franks, too.

Wondering how you, too, can have a peace that passes understanding?

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1 comment:

Bethany said...

Hey Megan. My heart and prayers are with you and your family during your time of grief. But halleluiah he is home! Something so sad to go through, but his body is new again and free of pain. And he is with his Heavenly Father, something we all long for. God bless you and yours.