Monday, February 27, 2017

Family Day!

By Mike L'heureux 

Well here it is again, Family Day!!! It’s a holiday that was created by the government of Ontario to give the hard-working people of Ontario a break during the winter months. Also, the holiday gives families a day between New Year’s Day and Easter to reconnect and enjoy time together. Hi I am Mike L’Heureux and I am a second-year Digital Photography Student, and this is my latest blog post.
 This is my take on the word “Family”. On October 1, 2015, I started this new phase of my life called retirement. My family had thrown a surprise retirement party for me and it was a great night. There were my friends from work, the theater friends, hobby shop buddies and most important of all my wife, 2 kids and 3 grandkids. All these people in one room made me understand how fortunate I am because they were all more than just friends.

Sunsetting on a great career from Imperial oil taken October 2017. This is what it felt like to retire AHHHH!!
   In this group of friends, we’ve had life experiences together. We all knew of children being born in our families, weddings, graduations and divorces and most sadly, death. At some point in all our lives, we became connected in such a way that I now call them family. I can honestly say that with each person I have come in contact with, I have had an experience that only family can share together.

Bri and Mat the kids. Shot in 2011 by me in London they had completed a 5 k run.
   I can break this into three distinct families. My work family goes back as far as 35 years ago and as most recent as 5 years ago. When you spend almost two thirds of your lifetime working with these individuals you become like family. You spend holidays at work with them instead of with your wife and kids, spend many night shifts at work and tons of weekends. You grow close and exchange stories of what happens in your life as they do with you. You also meet each other’s families and with some you grow closer together.  I have grown very close to four of these friends and they are family.

he Grandkids: Gal,Addie and Rory.Shot in 2014
My theater family at the retirement bash I have known for quite a while as well. It started out with being a stage crew member for a play my son’s theater was preparing. I was blown away by such an open group of people from the folks back stage, to the actors live life with a passion I didn’t know existed. Their high energy and positivity, at first was intimidating but I grew to like it very much. The learning part here for me was to be able to unclench my emotions and return the feelings back to them. I learned it was ok to hug someone; you didn’t have to score a touchdown, score a goal or get a shutout. You were hugged because you are you and they flat out like you. When I decided to go onstage and started to sing and do some minor acting I had gotten so much support from everyone it was amazing. I can’t read music and really couldn’t dance a lick but they were generous with their talents and taught me well. I have several family members from the theater they are more to me than just friends.

My theatre family this is the Nightingale Chorus that I have been a member for awhile.This year they were my volunteer project for this semester.
  The Guys!  Well what can I say; we are all fine scale modellers, who are car nuts and bench race like no one’s business. We all like to tease the hell out each other and solve all the world’s problems according to our terms. But there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my closest friends and the feelings are mutual between us all. Unfortunately, we are going to lose a member of this family. Ben is very ill and is in St Joseph’s hospice. It sucks that there is so little time left for Ben to be with us, but I know I will have lost an older brother when he leaves. This will be a huge loss for me and my friends. 
After the retirement party, I felt rich when I realized I had such a large family.   

Transitioning from worker to student  in theDigital Photography Course  shot in 2015 at the college studio.
I have been attending the Digital Photography since September of 2015 and I have learned many things while here. You not only have to be technically strong, but you need to have a creative passion for what you do in photography. I have 5 instructors that are at the top of their fields in photography, videography and English. They just aren’t technically strong but they have a passion for what they do; also, they care about the ones they teach. As for my classmates, they have skills and talent in abundance; what they are learning now that will put them in the elite as photographers. We come from Canada, India, South Korea and Persia and our ages vary from 19 to 56 years old. I have seen this class not only mature and grow into great photographers, but also have evolved into fantastic people to boot. Over the year as a class we have lost some friends that had to leave, but we have not forgotten them just like you don’t forget family when they leave. During the class trip to New York, they gelled together into friendships and as a collective group rallied around some that have struggled and helped them out.

Gram and the Bucketlisters Shot in our studio last Easter for a school assignment
I know that by now you are thinking “What is that old man babbling on about?” and “What has this got to do with Family Day?” Well, families are made up of individuals that have different strengths and talents that they share amongst themselves to help and support each other and that is what families do.

Some of my Digital Photo Family in class
Now we don’t have to circle the wagons and sit around the camp fire and sing “Kumbaya”. I’m just saying that family doesn’t have to be always related and that also applies to my classmates. And by the way welcome to my family.   JUST SAYIN’     Old Man OUT!!!!  J.  


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