The story behind the photo

Don Gaston holds his great-grandson, Diego, for the first time. Photo by Rocket Queen Imaging. All rights reserved.

How many times have you heard the old cliché,  "A picture is worth a thousand words?" I've heard it all my life, and while I think there's some truth to that saying, I can say I've seen a whole lot of photos that weren't worth ten words. Heck, I've shot a whole lot of them like that. 

In this case, though, I think this photo qualifies as one that upholds the cliché. 

In this photo is Don Gaston Cota. He's an 86-year old man who lives in Villa Juarez, Sonora, Mexico. Don Gaston has lived through many changes and losses. He and his wife had nine children, two of which have already passed away. 

He has fallen and broken his hip twice, leaving him with a left leg that doesn't work. He gets around on a pair of worn crutches. That doesn't stop him from driving his little Courier truck into town. He manages to get around quite well in that truck, even though it is a standard drive and he can only use his right leg.  

Three years ago, his wife of more than sixty years passed away after a very brief illness. Her death was unexpected, and he took it very hard, as one could imagine. 

This photo was taken in January of 2013, and in it Don Gaston is holding his new great-grandson, Diego, for the first time. 

The quality of the photo is certainly not what makes it one of my favorite images. I shot it with my camera and on-board flash only. It's not what any photographer would call a great technical shot.  

What makes me love the photo is the pride, dignity, and wisdom you can see in Don Gaston's face. Those blue eyes have seen a lot of things, and the man has so much to teach if someone will just stop to listen for a while.