fall leaves like old folks – Autumn haiku & reflection on caring for parents

fall leaves like old folks
swept by, unseen; watch! see! their
glories, fading, shine

I had the privilege of photographing a family in the intimate setting of their Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration recently. And toward the end of our time I was introduced to the grandfather, who had his own addition to the house accessed from the dining room. It was perfectly appointed for his needs and comfort and connected intimately with the main house. I will not lie, as the gentleman was 93, there was a moment of wistfulness at not having that extra 11 years with Dad. But there was also a satisfaction, that however emotionally clumsily I met his needs at times, that he had that little room above the street and that he was cared for well and that I got to enjoy his rich presence. This Sunday the gentleman came out and took his place at the center of the couch as his family clustered around him. For several shots he clasped the hands of his grandsons sitting to his sides, one a fully grown cowboy in Montana.

And that, dear friends, is the gold standard of care for our parents, I know, and for many for a variety of legitimate reasons it cannot managed, but I would sure like to see a whole lot more folk try, as folks with lesser means still do more frequently all around the globe.

With apologies for the preachiness, Neil.


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