Where do I even begin? I've been putting this off for days mostly due to the fact that each time I see these photos a part of me wants to believe it never happened. Late last Thursday we received a phone call that my uncle had been killed in an accident while traveling home from work outside of a small town in Nevada called Ely. Uncle Rod was born and raised there and was a stranger to anything else but the small town he knew and loved. There was nothing in the world that brought more happiness and smiles than his beloved collection of old cars. His passion for them was unparalleled and although many conversations with him consisted with lots of nods and agreeing gestures, (due mostly to the fact that I had no clue what he was talking about) it made me happy to see him smile.
As some of you saw I traveled to Ely roughly a week before we received the news. My reason for traveling there was simple: I did not want my mother who was helping my grandmother there, to travel alone on the long stretch of highway that connected Twin Falls to Ely. Before leaving I had spoken to my mom about documenting the trip and taking photos of the siblings and family members while we were all there. My thought was that grams might not be with us forever and we ought to get updated photos of her and her kids. Little did I know that these photos would mean so much so soon.
As the day approached and the photo time was set, my mom and her sister, Aunt Lori were under a strict deadline to get as much done before leaving early the next day. I felt bad forcing them to do them when there was so much to finish. The stress level was palpable but we did them anyways. As I sit here and write this, I cry. Not because I did anything great because anyone could have gotten photos of them. I cry because I'm so glad I listened to my gut and insisted we take them.
Never in my life have photos meant so much. I say that being ashamed because being a photographer, photos should be my utmost priority. These photos are everything at this time and bring so much comfort to our family to see his happy "Uncle Rod" smile beaming through.