“I woke up with the most indescribable ache in the center of my chest. I’m lying in a strange bed, in a strange city, and I feel like it’s hard to breathe (good God, are these tears on my cheeks?) Everything you’ve been telling me, my dear friends, is true: my daughter leaving home really does suck. Oh, you didn’t exactly say that, but your knowing smiles and reassuring squeezes on my arm told me that something was up. Your offers to talk if I needed or to call “if I needed anything at all” should have warned me, but as usual with my own feelings I’m somehow the last to know. When Sage was born (wait, wasn’t that just last week?) the nurse handed her to me, the downy fluff still drying on her heard, and I held her close to my chest and wondered, “How did I get to be this guy, the one with everything?” Yet, here I was, the evidence was in my arms. Somehow despite my shitty childhood and reckless behavior I had found my way home. In that breathess amazement of new life and fatherhood, I walked the hospital floor and whispered in her ear, “I can’t promise you a life without problems, but when problems come I’ll be standing right beside you.” And I’m still standing right beside her, and I know I’ll always be, because I’ve given her the best parts of who I am. But later today, after the brave words and confident embraces, I know I’ll drive away, glancing in my rear view mirror and wonder, “Where is home now?”
This was the post my dad left on facebook the morning I left for college. You see, my parent’s and I are best friend’s, and as the oldest sibling, I was the first to leave. Over the past three years of school, my relationship with my family has grown and changed as much as I have. As I enter my final year at NYU, our hugs are tight but rarely tearful, almost as if goodbyes have become a part of our relationship with one another. When you don’t live with your family anymore, the moments you spend together are more poignant.
Now I photograph my family whenever I get to see them, even if the moment seems uneventful. Capturing these moments gives me something to hold onto in between visits. Goodbyes are hard, sure, but becoming an adult, well, that’s a journey worth taking. Hold onto those you call family and the place you call home because they are an important part of who you will become.