Few investments appreciate in value over time. A portrait of someone you love is one of those rare possessions that increases in value the longer you own it. This portrait of my father has done just that.
Today is the anniversary of my father’s passing. Dr. James R. Juhl, better know as Bob, died four years ago today, on November 20, 2010. I still miss his always encouraging attitude, his wisdom, his love for people and animals and the companionship we shared.
Dad and I had grown closer since mom died almost three years earlier. I stopped by his home and made lunch for the two of us, accompanied him to his many doctor’s appointments and joined him watching Twins games now and again. As his health declined, I came to value this image more and more.
I did this portrait of dad at the urging of friend and photographer Todd Buckstead. Todd didn’t have a portrait of his father and it really bothered him. He demanded that I get both my parents into the studio as soon as possible. I’m so glad he did.
Dad’s loosing battle with an infection landed him in Luverne’s Hospice Cottage. Knowing we wouldn’t have much time left, I found myself rummaging through my computer looking for photos of him. The last image I captured of Dad was from just a few months earlier. The Minnesota Governor and his wife were in town. They had invited the local World War II veterans to the Herried Military Museum for coffee. I stopped by with my camera, not knowing that these would be the last images I would take of my father.
So today I thank my Heavenly Father for gift of my earthly father. I am thankful for the pictures and the memories they bring back.