Well this has been a hard time for me the past few weeks, my grandfather passed away which is why I didn’t post anything on social media last week. My grandfather was a mason, a Shriner, a clown, a good friend and an awesome father/grandfather. He will be immensely missed by everyone that knew him. I’ve been living with him for the past 7 months, part of the reason that I came to Newfoundland was because I knew that if I waited another 5 or 10 years I may not be able to learn about my grandparents in the way that living with someone helps you learn. I didn’t think that my time with pop was going to be so short but I’m glad that it happened. I feel a certain kind of pride/enjoyment that I got to live with him and keep him company. I certainly wasn’t the best person to be living with, we still had our disagreements no matter how much we loved each other. Living with other people is really hard. But we always loved each other and even if it wasn’t perfect all of the time or any of the time, it was still immensely better than not having the experience at all.
His wife, my grandmother Jean is one of the biggest reasons that I chose to become a visual creator. Every time me and my parents would visit Newfoundland I would see her paintings on the walls and my parents had a few inside our house as well. When she passed away I remember seeing the paintings at her viewing and I think that was the first time that the idea of creating art really made sense to me, to leave something behind that is an expression of yourself and to inspire others to observe, appreciate, and embrace the world that we live in. This was around the time that I had to decide which post secondary school to go to. My options were Business school which I wasn’t passionate about at all, I just applied as a back up, an introductory year for a school heavily based in philosophy and history, which I still love to study to this day, but when I got the letter saying that I was accepted for a photography program I knew that I wanted to learn how to better create art.
Living with my pop is something that I’m always going to be happy that I chose to do. Vacationing with them for a few weeks or a month at a time doesn’t really compare to the experience of living with them for several months. One of the reasons that I chose to go to Newfoundland was a novel by Albert Camus called “the first man” Where the protagonist tries to learn more about his deceased father and also reflects on his own life. The takeaway that I got from reading the book was that it was an important for him to try to learn more about his father so that he could learn more about himself and his own life. To know where you’re going you need to know about your past. But ultimately he was dead and couldn’t really succeed in truly learning about him. Well friends if you still have some living family don’t forget that it’s not too late to spend time with them and learn about their life experiences. Before it’s too late.