Finding Our Fathers I
After my father passed away, I searched through his briefcase and other items to find the remnants of his life. I’ve kept the briefcase in my closet all these years, along with some other objects found in the drawer of his nightstand. I felt a calling to revisit these things lately, some eleven years after my father’s passing, and in doing so,found a new level of thought and memory pertaining to him, and to my relationship with him. When I told a good friend about what I was doing, she exclaimed, “Oh, I have my father’s medical case”, and so we went in search of a life lived. Fathers and daughters have been written about, thought about, examined and dissected. What interests me about this project is the relationship daughters maintain with their fathers once their fathers have passed on. What are the objects daughters choose to save, and what stories are told by their contents. With both my father’s briefcase and her father’s medical bag, we photographed the items, held them, looked through them and felt in a small way to be with those men who had so influenced our lives. Sometimes because of what they taught us, and sometimes because of how we pushed against it, but always with their presence and the memories of what had been.
All images & text © Patricia Sandler
By Patricia Sandler