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For years, my parents like many others took pictures and displayed them in the home for all who visited to see. Mostly my mother would affix the photographs in picture books and we would all enjoy taking looks at the books from time to time.
Unfortunately, as years pass us by and now that my mother has gone, the picture books have disappeared. The memories are still there, however.
A few years back — at a time in my life when I felt rock bottom and when I thought there was no hope — a very good friend offered her professional photography services and provided a photo shoot of me and my two boys. I reluctantly accepted. It was a nice time and the photography work was outstanding as her work always is. She took many pictures and instructed us on scenes and poses. I did not know then, but the pictures were going to be a staple in my life.
Fast forward three years. I sit down at my desk at home and notice a jar full of flash drives. I haven’t a clue what’s on them. One by one, I insert them and discover various files and forms that I have collected for my livelihood. At one point, I inserted one and quickly realized how my life has changed for the better.
The flash drive I inserted was full of hundreds of pictures that my friend took. I looked through them and while doing so, I was remembering the time in my life that era took place. It was a time that I was devastated, heartbroken and felt alone. It was a time that the only person who I thought had my back decided that my boys and I weren’t a priority and chose a different life than us. I gazed through the pictures and saw the activities that Rayland, Trevor and I were doing and I began to think that time went by so fast.
Looking at the pictures that my friend Crystal Jobe took of us, I remembered that I thought then we would never overcome being put through a hectic time at the hands of someone who was in our everyday life and we counted on. Taking another look at the pictures, I came to understand now without realizing what I did then — I put my children first and made sure they were my priority and continued to push forward for them.
Pictures certainly can tell a story of a person’s life. Even now, everyone is taking pictures and most people have photo galleries online or saved somewhere on a flash drive.
Take a look now and then, because it’s never good to forget where you’ve been. After all, it’s where you’ve been and what you’ve been through that defines you as the person you are and helps you focus on where you are, where you want to be and how to get there. Click, save, share!
Rodney O’Neal is a resident of southern Nash County.