I recently sorted through a variety of photographs. I needed to collect some for a few projects I have going as well as just sorting through many others that need to be filed away.

As the minutes turned into hours I started realizing something. I began to understand the beauty of a photograph. I never came across one picture that was taken at a bad time. Almost all pictures are taken during happy times that are filled with positive things. As I flipped through pictures from my childhood up until today, I noticed certain time periods when many pictures appeared. There were times when I was on top of the world. Many of these good times were captured by a camera.

I know many people who have thrown out pictures after experiencing bad break-ups or divorce. I don’t understand why people do that. Although the relationship might have ended, the pictures were taken at a good time. As the years pass and life moves on I think it’s still nice to be able to look back and see a variety of happy times in my life. Although everything might not have panned out the way I had originally planned, I will still have the ability to see some times that led me to where I end up. It will give me the ability to understand and appreciate why everything happened.

I haven’t found too many pictures where I wasn’t smiling. Pictures bring back such vivid memories that it becomes almost overwhelming at times.

Usually I don’t do this but I have to go away from my original topic. I spent the day in Clinton, NY yesterday watching my nephew play in the state hockey tournament.  His team won the game that I attended and they dominated the play. They ended up winning their pool and advanced to the semi-final. Earlier today they won the semi-final game in overtime and then capped off the day with a double overtime win in the championship game. Finally, he has advanced to the national championship which will be played in Pittsburgh in a few weeks. This kind of goes back to the photograph topic that I started with. This will be a time that he will never forget. Twenty years from now it will still be one of the most memorable times of his life.

I’m excited for him. All of his hard work finally paid off as he had a spectacular tournament. After winning a state title all of the pressure is off. Hopefully he will be able to go to Pittsburgh and relax as he pursues another dream.

Before he knows it one year will pass into the next and he’ll be entering his adulthood years where life tends to get in the way of everything else. He’ll realize how lucky he was for these special times in his late teen years. Sports seem to provide some of the most beautiful memories that one could ever ask for. I still remember baseball tournaments from when I was 12 years old. It’s funny how we live through our memories as we get older. After all, our experiences along the way are what define us.

The experience he has gained through hockey will serve him for his entire life. He has learned that you get out of it what you put into it. His conditioning is one of the main components that helped him this weekend. He has already learned that you have to be prepared and realize that occasionally you will fail along the way. In the end, if you continue to prepare, you’ll always be ready when the most opportune moments arrive. I’m proud of him.

I spoke with my sister briefly last week. She was upset and told me that she thought that she had failed as a parent in some respects. How foolish is that? Every parent fails in some respects, but in the end if you help your child become the best person that they can become, you did your job. Your child is your child even when you’re old and gray. The bond that is formed along the way is the most important thing that should never be overlooked. He comes to her when he has to talk about something. I wouldn’t consider that a failure. If he has enough confidence and trusts her when he needs to talk then she most definitely did a good job with the most important things.

I don’t really have a good way to end this tonight. All I can say is that you should try your hardest to do the things that make you happy. Sometimes things will get a little off track, but if you continue to search for smiles and laughter you’ll be much better off in the end. Do things that bring joy to your world and stay away from things that bring you down. As you get older take a day and glance through some of your old pictures to bring back a variety of good memories.

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