Monday, November 17, 2014

Epilepsy Awareness Month Day 17: Photo Surprises

It is a good thing Robert is a ham! I certainly couldn’t get him to participate in so many videos unless he loved the camera. 

Robert is in the middle of this group of pictures -
standing tall
Robert also loves to take pictures. For years, Robert showed up to every family event with a camera around his neck.  I wonder how much of that was passed down from our mom who also loved her camera.  She created a dark room in our house so she could even develop her own photos (a few of which I have hanging in my office). She was a fanatic when it came to her photos and there were so many “take two” action shots at Christmas and birthdays, it became a family joke.

All three of us kids: Can’t we just open our Christmas presents? 

Mom: Not until we get one more shot of racing down the stairs, now get back up there! Look excited!

Dad: In the background, laughing at all of us!

Since we lived in Nebraska when my brothers and I were young, Mom also used to usher us into the basement during a tornado warning and then race up the stairs and outside to capture pictures of storm clouds and – I’m sure she hoped – a tornado or two. 

Yeah, Mom was a little on the wild side. 

Robert seemed to get that photography gene from Mom. (It actually might run in the family as one of our cousins is a terrific photographer!). 

Robert still likes to take photos but it is practically impossible for him to manage a camera since his dexterity has declined and his tremors make it difficult to hold the camera steady.

It saddens me that a hobby Robert really enjoyed (and maybe in some way, connected to our mom with) is something he can no longer do.  He just can’t operate his fancy camera anymore. I have given him disposable cameras to use but they just don’t hold the same appeal to him. 

The impact epilepsy has had on this part of Robert’s life is that it took away the ability to continue to do a favorite hobby.  He still enjoys being in photography class at his Day Program and usually lists it as one of his favorite things to do so the hobby hasn’t completely ended. Plus, Robert has other hobbies/obsessions: word search puzzles and watching game shows.

When I took over Robert’s care, I found a whole camera bag full of undeveloped film. It sat for years on my to-do list until I finally took them to Costco for developing this past weekend.  I was afraid these nine rolls of film would be so old or maybe damaged that nothing would be on them.

Only one roll was a bust – the rest held delightful surprises for all of us.

Which, of course, I filmed.

I actually filmed Robert looking at the pictures over a couple of days.  It is not edge-of-your-seat action but it is raw footage of Robert looking at pictures he took and remembering people from years ago.

Makes me want to pick up a camera! Oh, wait . . .

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

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