Yesterday, I was going through negatives I hadn’t yet scanned. The first shot on one roll was this one. I hadn’t noticed it before, because it was the only photo I took on my trip home with this camera. A Leica M5, someone had given me months before I’m not sure why this was the only photo I took with it on the trip. Not sure it matters.
Nearly three and a half years since my father passed, this was the first and only time I’ve visited his grave. A hand made wooden cross and plaque, it’s weathered several winters and was still there for me to see. Even with the time that’s passed I still pick up the phone sometimes as if to call him. I still wake up in the middle of the night and think he’s still here. I once wanted that feeling to go away, but now, I’m not sure I do.
It’s easy to say he’s still here in spirit. I suppose that’s true. He’s certainly still here in me. More and more often I catch myself saying something or doing something that reminds me of him. Strange that, it’s most often things I hated him doing that I do myself. Strange.
I used to shirk at such moments. Not anymore though. I’ve long since realized that the things that once annoyed me about my father are the things that made him who he was. I once read, “Any man can be a father, but it takes a great man to be a Dad.” I’m not sure I’ve read anything so true. Those tiny annoyances I once hated, and now mimic, are what made him a Dad. Made him my Dad. His uniqueness is still here as it can be seen once or twice a day in the mannerisms of his son.
I’m glad I found this negative. I took many photos of this scene and of his grave. For some reason or another I didn’t like any of them. I didn’t feel anything when I looked at them.
I felt a lot when I saw this.
Seoul, South Korea.