It’s been twelve short years since my father went for a run and ran straight to heaven. That’s the way my sister tells the story and I like that version best. He was 52, an amazing man, artist, and my very best friend.

This is the last photograph ever taken of my father and a constant reminder of why I do what I do. I took the photo on a short hike in the hills of upstate NY just a few days before he died. It was my goal to get a great photograph of my father that day. Maybe some kind of portrait showing how well he was aging and all the characteristics of his face. I wanted to “see” him more since I lived far from home in Colorado.

But it never happened…..I just didn’t want to disturb our hike together, it was perfect just the way it was. I guess this is the documentarian in me. There was beauty in our hike I wanted to capture it. So, as my father seemed to steady in his pace (he had quite the pace–always leaving my mother in the dust by mistake), I took a knee and made this image. He never even knew I took this frame and now when I think of him this is the image I see. Taking a peaceful walk in the woods, with our good friend Chase, embracing its beauty.

Words could never describe how wonderful a man my father was. The way he chose to carry himself and the way he made people feel. From time to time he would wear a smiley face sticker on his shirt just to inspire a positive reaction from others. Always striving to be a better man himself, I often wonder if he had any idea what a success he really was.

Love ya Dad. : )



I read this again today for some reason and It still brought a tear to my eye. I consider myself extremely luck to have called him friend for all those years.

Wow 12 years,it doesn’t feel that long? Your Dad was a hell of a man and I proud to have called him friend. He was always so proud of you and your sister and would tell anyone who would listen. I know he would love the photo-always climbing higher.
Bill Norton

Thank you, Shane. Your words are beautiful and express a deep sense of reverence for the beauty and transience of life. Your unconditional love for your father and his for you surely gives you a sense of buoyancy through even the difficult days when you must still miss him sorely. I am flying a long way to see my father next month, for the first time in two years, and I value the chance that I have been given to do that.

This really touched my heart Shane. Knowing you and who you are, just shows how great a man your Dad was and is, in your heart. 🙂

I must say that you are your Fathers son. Few men have I had the pleasure of meeting where I know that I am loved, for nothing more than just being me. Your Father obviously showed you how beautiful a humble life can be. Thank you for sharing this with the world and sharing your life with us all.

I wish everyday I could’ve met him. I know I would have loved him. I have first hand knowledge of what an amazing son he raised. I’m thankful:) He would be so proud of who you are. He plays a daily role in your life–he would be so happy to know what an influence he has been to you….and what an inspiration. I love you so much.

I’m moved by your words. I’ve always held the belief that of all the loved ones in our lives, a select few are role models, held in the highest regard. We take the best of what we perceive of their character, and it makes a lasting impression on us, and when we lose them, the part of them imprinted into us is thrown into sharp relief and clarity.
I never knew your father, but what you describe of him I see in you, and that’s the greatest honour a father can hope to have.


He was the coolest. I think of him so often. Very beautiful sentiment in your blog.

Love it Shane. Thinking of you today. XO

Oh, so sweet Shane. I love this story.

amen. how proud he must be

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