Recently, a friend sent me a link to the amazing Days With My Father, a blog-cum-book documenting photojournalist Phillip Toledano’s time spent with his father in the last three years of life. It is at once sad, funny, poignant, and visually stunning.
Toledano’s father treasured the visits with his son and daughter-in-law, just as my dad relished the time he spent with all the friends and family members who visited him in his last days. It was such a pure enjoyment, like he knew that nothing else really mattered.
Toledano writes of his deceased mother consistently pointing out his faults, and how he now realizes she was mostly right. It’s funny how infuriated we can all get with loved ones, how they can tell us all these things we don’t want to hear about ourselves. And sometimes they just plain make us crazy.
My friend was concerned that the site might upset me. I cried, of course, because that’s what I do. But I was glad he sent it. It was a timely message for me, so close to the holiday season and the accompanying mega-size doses of family time. Reading through the site reminded me that I need to treasure the time I have with loved ones, focus less on what might bother me about them, and more on who they really are and how much they mean to me.