December’s Shift – Past Tense

Peace River - Homestead Starting Point
Peace River – Homestead Starting Point

A December day – my brother forwards an e-mail from a family friend, someone from the old neighborhood in Edmonton’s Ottewell community, a friend we shared the neighborhood with as kids. At eighty years, his father, a good friend of my father’s, has passed – succumbing to cancer’s disease. The e-mail conveys global or summary view of his father, a statement written by a man in middle-age, a message made more striking because of its first shift to the past tense of Life – Life has been lived well; Life lived on … beyond the passing of his wife thirty years prior; and, anticipation of how the loss will be felt and recognized. Life’s patterns will change for his family without him.

My memory is of him, his wife, his three boys and his daughter in their Edmonton home on 94b Avenue during the seventies. An accountant, he drove a chocolate brown BMW sedan way back then. My Dad and he shared wit and story. Both were sharp, intelligent people – achievers with achievements; they and their wives had travelled – our families vacationed together. Dad and he were close and knew how to share time together well. Our families may even have met at Church – Ottewell United Church. As I think him through I think of starting points, places any of us began. For him, he’d been adopted in the thirties and loved and raised well – something carried on in each of his children.

Listening to – Roky Erickson’s You’re Gonna Miss Me, Bow Wow Wow’s I Want Candy, Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ Crimson and Clover, Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine and Bruce Springsteen’s The River.

Quote to Inspire – “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” – Garry Winogrand