A year ago, I moved to Ireland to pursue a photography degree.
I was a happy camper, a successful photographer, and a great storyteller.
I have a lot of friends here, and I have an incredible family of my own.
But, like all things, it was a dark time.
I lost my job in the summer, and my wife and two young children were not happy about the news.
Then, one day, I was standing on the porch, looking at the sunset and suddenly my phone rang.
I had a new phone.
I went downstairs, rang the phone and said, “Hello?
The voice on the other end was my brother-in-law.
I looked at him and said in my voice, “I’m in the middle of a holiday, and when I answered, my phone was ringing off the hook.
I’m really sorry, I can’t talk right now.”
He was distraught.
He said, you don’t understand, we need to get out of here right now, we have to go.
“It was that day, one of the saddest moments of my life.
When I went home, I cried a lot.
The first thing I thought of was my family.
They were all so lovely.
I thought, I just want to go and visit them.
So, I walked into the living room, and there was my phone and a picture of my family, my wife, my sons, my daughter.
It was a big relief.
I got to go visit them the next day.
But there was one little problem: The family were not here, so I could not see them.
I couldn’t go on holiday.
But I felt very guilty about the whole situation.
I felt like I was trying to help my family through this very difficult time.
That was the hardest thing I had to do, to see my family and not be able to see them at all.
I’ve learned from my experiences, but that was something that really hit me, and made me realise, no matter what, I am responsible for my actions, and you have to be accountable for your actions.
I learnt that when you make mistakes, you have a duty to learn from them.
But you have the right to make those mistakes.
This is why I love photography, because it teaches you lessons about life.
The saddest thing was I didn’t know where they were.
And then the next thing I knew, I had my phone, my camera and I was photographing them.
I never did see them again.
So that’s what I am trying to tell my friends.
Every photographer, no, every family, they have a responsibility to do something, because they are part of our culture.
We have a strong family tradition.
We know the joy of Christmas, and our families come together every year.
We do not want to let down the family by letting them down by not knowing where they are.
And, of course, there is a responsibility for us to try and find them.
There is a very strong family connection.
And that’s something I’m trying to encourage.
It’s about finding our way back home.