Today, I have the honor of having Arthur Gonzalez as our guest author and it’s also our stop on The Photo Traveler blog tour. I asked Arthur to write about the memory he’d love to revisit since The Photo Traveler is about being able to time travel to a particular moment in time (provided there’s a physical photograph or drawing).
I reviewed The Photo Traveler here and you can read my interview with Arthur here. I hope you take the opportunity to add The Photo Traveler to your TBR list and get lost with Gavin. I really liked the book and I hope you do too.
Okay, let me gather a box of Kleenex real quick.
My father passed away six years ago (it will be six years on June 30th). He was 48 years old when his life was suddenly stripped from us by a wicked heart attack. There weren’t any signs prior to the major incident, so you can imagine the hole it created in this then-22-year-old’s life.
For a long time all my father ever wanted was for the entire family (his new wife and their children, and my immediate family) to blend as one. Although things were always amicable, it wasn’t exactly the image my pops desired so desperately.
Just two months prior to his passing I graduated from the University of Florida. After the ceremony, the entire family went to dinner in celebration. My pops was there, my stepmother, my grandparents, my mom, my stepfather, and my sisters.
I’ll never forget how impactful it was. The entire family united as one, interacting and laughing. It was brilliant. There wasn’t a single shred of discomfort between anyone. The night was comprised of love and gratitude.
There was this one moment when I looked over at my dad and he was starring off in a daze at all of us. I smiled, because although it was my graduation, I could feel how monumental this moment was for him.
The entire night we all huddled together to take countless photos. I’d gladly re-visit anyone of these. It’s the first time we didn’t have to coax my dad into “smiling for real”.
There’s not a single thing I would change about this moment. After he passed away, it was the very moment we all remembered; something we were so grateful happened. He had finally achieved what he had wanted for so long.
On the days where his loss weighs down heaviest on me, I pull out the album and go straight for this picture. It’s exactly the way I want to remember him.
It was- and forever will be- one of my most prized, priceless moments.
Arthur J Gonzalez is a 28 year old, born and raised in Miami, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida. His debut novel, The Photo Traveler, is about 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images.
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