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A Tribute to the Man I Know and Love

My First Portrait: My Husband

This is the first portrait that I ever shot and developed myself -- developed like in a darkroom with chemicals and timers and gloves and darkness. Anyhow, I'm posting this today in honor of my husband because he was the first person to sit for me for a portrait session, and he has been my number one supporter as I pursue photography. Today, as well as everyday, I want to support him in his pursuit of his passion.

Tony, my husband, has been a faithful employee at the same company for the past 16 years, and today marks the end of an era for him: it is his last day of employment at this particular company. He is leaving on his own terms as he knows that it is time to move on from the comfort and familiarity of this job to a new place of employment that will provide him fresh, unknown challenges and opportunities.

It's all good, and yet when I kissed him goodbye this morning, I felt a familiar lump in my throat. It's the same lump that I swallowed down as I kissed each one of my children goodbye on the morning of their last day of high school. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but the routine of our day-to-day lives can be a huge comfort as the uncertainty of change is a difficult, sometimes paralyzing, thing regardless of one's age.

Today, Tony will bid a final farewell to the people and place where he rose through the ranks to be a team leader -- a leader in every sense of the word. An executive once said of him: "Tony is the type of team player that you put in when you need to execute a big play because you know that he is going to successfully execute the play and then quietly walk back to the bench and wait for the next call." No victory laps, no dancing in the end-zone, no high-fiving . . . just a quiet appreciation for his God-given talent and the opportunity to put it to use.

In the days since announcing his departure, Tony has received many accolades from the younger professionals that he has mentored over the years, and their kind words have deeply moved his tender heart (and mine, too). In true Tony fashion, he held nothing back from these young mentees, and their expressions of gratitude have been meaningful, kind, and a testament to Tony's generosity as a mentor/leader.

My hope is that today my husband knows just how much he is appreciated and that all the affirmations that he has been receiving over the past two weeks are at the forefront of his mind as he closes this chapter and begins anew.

As for me, it has been a delight to watch my humble husband's genuine surprise as these well wishes and messages of gratitude have been bestowed upon him. He is a man that seeks no recognition and is embarrassed when the spotlight is cast upon him.

I love my Tony! And, I pledge to buoy him up when the waves of uncertainty begin to crash on the shoreline of his new dawn for I have no doubt that he has what it takes to once again make his own, unique mark with this next company.

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