Click. Happy Father’s Day.

I don’t plan to write on this blog this weekend so I thought that posting this early would be a good idea.

When I was in college I remember lugging around cameras all over the place. I would take pictures of my roomies, my friends, the campus and everything else around me. It was a little strange. Or stereotypical, when you think about it. Hey, look! There’s the Asian with the camera!

I took those pictures wanting to be able to capture that moment of our lives. We were what my wife’s cousins are today: young, invincible, carefree and mischievous. Everything was funny; every second was a great time. Being able to snatch those moments from Father Time has provided me with a wealth of memories.

Back then we still had to deal with rolls of film or the APS (Advanced Photo System) rolls or maybe even the Polaroid cartridges. After shooting everything under the sun we’d drop off our film and, if we were anxious and had the money, pay for the 1 hour film developing. Other times we were too poor and we waited a day or two. It was pretty expensive in both time and dollars.

These days digital cameras make taking pictures so much easier. Digital point and shoots, DSLRs and even camera phones let us catch everything under the sun without the hassle of having to wait. What’s even better is that we can take videos with them. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you any of this, right? Preserving the moment, the feelings, the time by using modern technology has become almost second nature to most of us.

What I didn’t understand until later in my life was how important this was to me.

Right now, I don’t have kids. The closest thing to a child to me are my pets whom I love with every fiber of my being. I am so lucky that I have pictures and video of my boy Tobey who passed away the day after Christmas, 2008. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. Being able to see his big goofy face in pictures and see him in videos happily bounding all over the place makes me both happy and sad. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for my pictures and videos of Tobey.

The same could be said of the following two videos. If my sister gets mad because she and her daughters are in them then I’ll take them down. However, this is what I have:

My dad trying to get my (then 6 month old) niece Sabrina to dance and pay attention to him

My dad with his birthday cake (which is kind of funny considering he was a diabetic)

I have pictures of my dad – he’s with the family, he’s with me, old pictures from when he was in the Navy and more. But those two videos are the only ones that I have with my father in them. I can see him laughing, dancing, speaking. Just like my experiences with my Tobey videos I’m both happy and sad. I can see and hear my dad just as he was. I can see him smile.

That’s what I have for Father’s Day this year: A memory trapped in bits and bytes that I’ll treasure for as long as I live. I encourage all of you to take as many pictures and as many videos as possible since, these days, it is so easy and economical. You’ll never regret being able to go back and look at them.