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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words...

When we were first dating one of the nicest gifts Andie got me was a really nice camera- the Canon Rebel (before they had the digital version). I loved that camera and did some of my best work on it. I thought I lost it once when I accidentally packed it when we were moving. After months passed and we couldn't find it he went out and bought me another one for my birthday. He knew how much that camera meant to me and how heartbroken I was to not have it. Ironically, we unpacked and found the old camera about a week after he bought the new one!

Andie was always proud of my photography. It was just a hobby I enjoyed, but he encouraged me to display some of my work in our home and always wanted me to try to sell my photos. I never thought I was good enough but he always did. When we'd see photography for sale for hundreds of dollars he'd always say, "You could do that. Your stuff is way better than this." His encouragement and admiration of me is one of the things I treasure and miss the most.

When they came out with the digital version of my Canon Rebel I drooled over it. Pined for it. Longed for it. But I never thought we could afford it, or should afford it, rather. I was always the one holding the purse strings saying we should put more into retirement or savings- not spend it on extravagant things we didn't really need. He wanted me to have the big expensive camera and tried to convince me to get it for years, but I always put it off because it was so expensive.

The weekend Andie died was Father's Day weekend. I had bought him a new lightweight digital camera as a gift. We had both been wanting a new camera for a while that was small enough to throw in my purse, so I splurged. I planned to give it to him Friday night when we arrived at our vacation destination so he could use it all weekend. Thursday afternoon he ran errands and came home with my "late" Mother's Day present; you guessed it- a new camera! We laughed and couldn't believe we both bought each other cameras. He felt bad that he never got me a Mother's Day present and said he wanted me to have it for our vacation.

When he bought this new camera he told me he had considered getting me the digital version of my really good camera. The Canon Rebel EOS...the only problem was the digital version starts at around $600 and goes up from there. He said he was sure I would be upset if he spent that much money, but that he would go back and get it if I really wanted it. Well, being practical I told him we shouldn't spend that much money on a camera and I would keep the small lightweight one he bought.

So we kept the practical camera. The one we could both use. Point and shoot- so easy. The problem is...I hate this camera. I thought I would like it because it's very compact and lightweight but it takes way too long between when you press the button and when the picture takes. My kids move so quick that I can never get a good shot. Something that would never happen with my Canon Rebel. I'm sure my vehemence towards this camera is only magnified by the fact that he gave it to me a day before he died- it's got bad juju in my mind.

He was often trying to buy me nice gifts, but hesitant because he knew I'd be mad about how much they cost. I should've let him buy me nice gifts more often. I'd have those things to treasure now. Another thing to add to my list of regrets...

So today I bought myself the digital Canon Rebel.
In honor of him.
In honor of his admiration for my photography skills.
In honor of the fact that it's only money- we can't take it with us when we die.
I bought the camera because he wanted me to have it. Because I wanted to have it.

Because photos are the only lasting thing we have after someone is gone, the only thing that can preserve a moment after our own memory fades, the only accurate historical representation of a life. I want to capture the moments that matter with my children- I don't want to be cursing the camera because it didn't shoot quick enough and the moment passed.
My children are changing so fast these days and I feel like I can't keep up. I want to always remember these moments of joy, laughter, and love with them.

I want to capture these moments and hold them close and never let them go...

1 comment:

  1. Amen to that, Brooke. Hold on to those captured moments forever. I'm a Canon girl myself- have the EOS XSi. Came out last year, so it's one of the older ones, but I'm more of the philosophy of spending more on your 'glass'. ;) So I always ask for new lenses instead of a new camera. Can't wait to see some of your shots! xo