Grief ebbs and flows and the further you get away from it the more unexpectedly it strikes.

My Gramps died three years ago this month. One of the biggest influences in my life, on me. One of the biggest holes in my life. I have his picture in my office and I keep his pipe tobacco in a drawer so I can smell it sometimes.

This weekend we were sorting through our storage room. I was sorting through a bin of memories – my favourite stuffed animal, my notes from planning our wedding, my journals from high school, my newspaper clippings with my byline.

I found a picture. It was a family birthday, I think. It was a picture of my sister, my cousin and me and we were all dressed up, so it was certainly some kind of holiday. The fancy dishes were out so it may even have been Christmas or Thanksgiving.

The three of us are standing, laughing, in front of a window, and in the window because of the flash you can see my Gramps taking the photo.

And the memories came flooding back, because that was a major part of my childhood. My grandfather hated having his picture taken and was always the photographer. Seeing him behind the camera was seeing him as he was.

That’s Tutu, smiling beside him at her girls. It’s their house. It always was on these occasions.

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