A child’s greatest gift to their parents may be the care that they give them in their later years. It’s almost unthinkable why we wouldn’t since they were the ones that sacrificed to raise us. I was inspired by a long-time friend’s unfaltering loyalty and pure love for his father who is now in his 80’s; unable to walk, barely able to speak and care for himself. Jeff goes to visit his father, Robert, 5-6 times a week, traveling over an hour by subway and bus. When I asked him why he almost always goes around dinnertime he explains, “The caretakers are so busy. By the time they reach my dad, his food is cold and I don’t want his dinner to be cold.”. His father, Robert Boyd was born in the south but migrated up north (New York) for better opportunities. During WWII, while serving as a young seaman enlisted in the US Navy, Robert was there on December 7, 1941 as bombs suddenly dropped down from the sky onto Pearl Harbor. He witnessed the ripe beginnings of World War II. How many people can say that in the world at present?
In regards to Jeff, many of us know him as the happy, free-spirited and social good guy…that he is. However, this is another side to his daily life to witness. He’s one of the strongest people I know; able to keep a smile and be the rock in this family as things fall apart. If you see him, give him a hug. Let us never forget the more “mature” part of our society. They were there for us when we were young and needy, giving us protection and care. I’ve found so much joy to just take a small amount of time in a week or a month to visit assisted living facilities, whether in China, the US, Africa, and listen to their fascinating experiences. You don’t need a history book when you can talk to people that lived it. Let’s always keep them in mind…it may be something sad to see or difficult to face..but the truth is, every human faces it one day. We all age. Thank you to Jeff and Robert Boyd for allowing me into their lives to capture them. I hope to add more to this album with different fathers and sons. Wishing them all the best.