Kathleen McFadden | Pictures in the Mind

Pictures in the Mind

March 02, 2017  •  8 Comments

Velocity is a topic I would hear my dad and his friends discussing, bullets and guns. All of the technical jargon was way over my head. But the concept of velocity is suddenly of interest to me.

My dad has pancreatic cancer.

It's taking him fast, as it's known to do. 

Just four months ago he seemed fine, riding his motorcycle, shooting at the range, volunteering at the museum, enjoying life as a healthy, strong man who always had a yearning for knowledge and adventure.

Now he lies on his bed, so thin he barely makes an impression on the mattress, fearless eyes, huge in his head, unflinchingly staring death in the face. Even like this, he's an inspiration in his strength of character. He's a blue-eyed cheerful skeleton, grateful for every little thing.

Looking through old family photographs, trying to banish the skinny vision of him from my mind, replace it with a healthy picture, I came across a photo taken by my Grandpa McFadden. It's a lovely photograph of my Grandma and my dad and a horse in Kansas, circa 1942. 

Even if I didn't know the subjects personally, I'd love this photograph. It's got a tenderness, a sweetness, a warmth that is timeless and so beautiful. So, this is the image I'm keeping in my mind now. I'm going to think of him at the start of his life, surrounded by good people and good animals, just the way my life is now.

Tender MomentsTender MomentsA tender moment like this between mother, son and horse is timeless in its sweetness. My dad watches and learns a lesson in kindness from my Grandma in this photo taken by my Grandpa in 1942.


Joann Felice(non-registered)
I have read your blog over and over, trying to find the words to say. There are none.

Thanks you for sharing your heart with us. I am sorry for what you and your family are going through.

My thoughts are with you all.
Chet Hanson(non-registered)
Kathleen, you are supposed to be limited to a single great talent, didn't anyone inform you of that? Your remembrance of your father, his fight, his character and his legacy, when added to what little I know about his great faith, hit me and lifted me at the same time.
Thanks for sharing,
Chet (Terry's friend)
What a beautiful post about your dad and life in general. It is an amazing photograph of your dad and grandmother and it is definitely something to remember forever. Sending you lots of love Kathleen!!!
Becky Weiss(non-registered)
Hello Kathleen,

How great it was to see your name on our email list this morning!
I was taken by your most recent posting of the photograph of your dad and your acknowledgment of lives well lived.
I have always appreciated your ability to fully embrace and "capture" (in your photographs and words) the "stuff worth holding on to".

Thank you for inspiring me by "showing up" and "showing".

Kathleen Schroeder(non-registered)
I didn't know of the pain you've been through until now.
I am sorry. I imagine that fire inside your dad relit from the photo. But even more from your heart light.
No comments posted.

Come On OverCome On OverHatch, Utah
This fella was really curious about me and my camera. In fact, he invited me to come on over to his house to visit a while. The barbed wire stood in my way, so we exchanged pleasantries over the fence, like old neighbors.

Mamiya 645 120mm
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