Weekly Photo Challenge: Unforgettable…
“Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!” Joseph B. Wirthlin
I have to confess that the photo challenge for this week had the title: Gone, But Not Forgotten and I changed it. I wanted to use it, but all it reminded me of was funerals and the passing of my Dad. There are events and stories we hold dear to our hearts that are unforgettable, yet, they vary in degrees. I’ve loved and lost over my life time. Some losses were profound, like my Dad’s, and they continue to influence my world view. Some losses were sad, but I was able to move on with lingering memories of what I had once that was no longer around. Gone, but not forgotten is a phrase we see/hear at wakes, memorials, funerals and on headstones. They bring tears to our eyes and leave us feeling wistful and deeply saddened. I chose to use the word – unforgettable – in my title because it has a ring of joy and excitement; it includes events with people, places or experiences that were powerful, transforming and life-shifting. Such was my relationship with my Dad. My Dad, Chief Collins K.N. Obih, was a very generous philanthropist who taught us a lot about giving back, about education, and about love for family and self. (FYI, I used daguerreotype to create an aged look and the BW in the photo above).
“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” David Ogden Stiers
Dad, affectionately known as Ochiagha, always worked super-hard, and we used to joke at home that we needed to schedule an appointment with his secretary to see him. He exposed all his children to the finer things in life and instilled in each of us a deep love for education, travel and connecting with people from different cultures. If it wasn’t for my Dad, I would never have attended international schools in the UK and the US, nor would I have developed a deep respect for the struggles of every day people. We all love our parents for different reasons and in different ways, but what I admired most about my dad wasn’t his business acumen, his Midas touch, or his grace under fire, it was his big, philanthropic heart. Years after his death, I still bump into people who share stories with me of how my dad intervened in a difficult situation; how he paid for their education; how he gave them guidance and words of wisdom; and how he wept deeply when their father/mother passed away. I knew my father well, but I didn’t know every story about his kindness.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after (you think) you have forgotten everything.” Aaron Siskind
My Dad came from farming stock and, when his Dad died at an early age, he was determined to do better. His mom, my grandma Dada, worked hard to pay for his education and he never forgot the gift of learning. He built a very successful career, and always made it an important point to help others and to give back to his community. I didn’t know of every struggle he endured in his life, but what I cherish was his willingness to help those down on their luck. His death was sudden, of a massive heart attack, and my biggest regret is that he didn’t live to see me graduate from Grad School, get married and have kids. He never met any of his grandchildren; but he left us with a huge legacy of service to carry forward. I loved and admired my father deeply and I will always miss him. I still hear his advice when I need to make important decisions. Whenever life’s challenges cross my doorstep, I see him in my dreams telling me in that rich, baritone voice – “Atụla ụjọ. jisi Ike. ọ ga di nma – Don’t be afraid. Be strong. All will be well.” I miss you Dad. Thank you for everything … for everything … for EVERYTHING. Gone, But not forgotten. Gone and Unforgettable.
My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. Check out how others interpreted the theme below.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, But Not Forgotten In today’s challenge, show us what “gone, but not forgotten” means to you. It could be a photo of a faithful canine friend who’s chasing squirrels in a better place, a spot in your city, town, or village that reminds you of a relationship now over, a talisman that reminds you of something that you can never get back, a photo of you in your smashing 70s silver lamé jumpsuit, or the crumbs that remain from the delicious cheesecake you baked.
Positive Motivation Tip: Those we hold dear in our hearts are always near to comfort us and make us smile… They may be gone but they are never forgotten. Keep the flame of love alive.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.