Before I Die

I want to smile more (maybe even laugh).

Earlier this month, I found the “Before I die” mural in downtown Reno. The Black Rock Arts Foundation installed two interactive murals in downtown Reno and I photographed one with my phone. This phrase was a variation of the question I have been asking myself on the eighth anniversary of my father’s death. “Now what?”

Eight years ago, my father died. He actually died on the 16th, but since I uploaded the photos three days ago, I have still been searching for the answer to the now what question. In the months before he took his life, I smiled often. My daughter was born six months before he died and she was a happy baby. I was a happy parent. After my father died, Death seemed to follow us. Sadness consumed our lives.

I rededicated myself to being the best father possible.  I fail often and I try hard. Parenting is humbling.

On the anniversary of my father’s death, I often do something important. This year, I tried to be normal. I took my children for ice cream. We registered for school and drove their mother to work. We watched Shark Week. On Father’s Day, we relaxed and photographed each other. I think my wife took some of the photographs and my kids photographed me too.

Now, I am ready to smile (maybe even laugh).


What do you want to do Before You Die?

One Response to “Before I Die”

  1. Alice J Pierson-Knapp says:


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