I was standing in my kitchen putting away groceries on August 8th when I got the phone call. My father had been killed in a terrible tractor accident on his Tennessee Walking Horse Farm in Shelbyville, TN. In one phone call I lost my dad, inherited a 36 acre farm with 21 horses, 1 dog and 3 cats. I live an hour-and-a-half away and before I even got there people who I have never met had gotten my phone number and were calling me offering any kind of help I needed. When I arrived people were already there taking care of the horses.
Over the course of the next week I was overwhelmed with the support I got from so many people who were complete strangers to me. Some didn’t even know my dad that well and just wanted to help. When word got out that I was having the funeral on my Dad’s farm people showed up with lawn mowers, bush hogs and tractors to make sure everything was perfect for the funeral. Anything that needed to be done, there was always someone who wanted to help. The owner of the horse barn across the street spent the first three days with me helping me make some decisions about what to do with the horses when he really needed to be working with his own horses. Of course these people are not strangers anymore, they are friends.
To pay this forward I’m going to be a kinder stranger in my community. Although this post isn’t necessarily about photography, maybe taking a young or inexperienced photographer under our wing would be a good way to be a kinder stranger.
Contributed by Renee Lowery