I am actually not going to be writing about my photography or photography in this post. I am going to be writing about a realization that has occured to me in the last few nights that I have had unable to sleep through. It is not a new realization as much as it is me putting it to words.
This Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 1:30pm I lost my best friend, my hero, my Dad to cancer. As all things go, it came down to his body unable to fight the sickness in his marrow and blood.
We have a show of our work up at Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA. There was a gallery talk yesterday, I was very excited to share with him and an artists' reception coming up on Tuesday. His drawings of my photographs are flawless, as was he to me. I do not exaggerate when I say he is my best friend and hero. I realize this: I have spent my life trying to emulate him.
Dad ran track, won many many trophies and medals, I played a lot of sports to the detriment of my knees and feet, demonstrated by my many many surgeries. (as I am learning now in my 40s as I limp around.) Dad was a painter, and he sketched, and he was a photographer when I was a child. I tried to be as good as he all of my life. his work is flawless and beautiful. There are portraits of me, there are silhouettes he created of me as a child that I still have and cherish. Dad made a stuffed doll for me when I was little to replace Raggedy Andy when I "loved him to death". Dad found some fabric from somewhere in the house.. went off to the sewing machine.. and built my friend Herkimeier. Herky is STILL with me.. 1960s orange, almost as tall as I am NOW.. polyester.. and weighs about 10lbs because he is filled with fabric also. his arms and legs match those of the aliens in Close Encounters of he Third Kind. Herky will be with me forever.
Dad is a speaker that has drawn people from all over the east coast to hear him. He preached in a church and inevitably I am meeting people across the country that hear my name and ask if I am his daughter. Where this, as a child and teen, was a VERY frustrating thing... "Joe's daughter".. I have grown to be proud and almost let people know before they ask. YES! I am Joe's daughter.. he is the one that is awesome at everything he touches.. He picked up playing the piano in his 50s and he was better than I had ever been after years and years of lessons. he could play by ear.. he was playing jazz..
Dad drew people to him, everyone loved him, and those that may not have were simply jealous of all of the riches Dad had.
When the Cosby show was on, I remember his mom, my Nana calling on Thursday nights to say.. "Joey.. your show is on!" He danced almost as badly as Bill Cosby.. yes.. it is true! But I KNOW in my heart it was all an act. There is nothing he is not good at.. (There is nothing at which he is not good?)
All of my life I have tried to be just like him. I want to strive to be the person and being he is. My Dad is white light. A part of me is wondering if I have been crossing the path of my spirit guide (the dragonfly) this summer so often because they were letting me know.. something something was coming and they were there to help me, and guide me and comfort me.
|Photo: Dave Ambler - Drawing: Joseph Neville The two men I love the most!|
|Rev Dr Joseph Neville - Self portrait|