2020 will go down as a bummer of a year (yes, my age is showing.)
The constant on again – off again lockdowns. The tone of the election (left or right, you have to agree it was terrible.) And on top of that, the loss of those we love. For me, my older brother who passed yesterday (cancer), and now Dan Suckow; a member of the Society who is so passionate about all things photographic.
Let me start by letting his family update you on his condition. The following message was forwarded to me to share with you.
Subject: Wed. Nov. 18: Dan Suckow Coming Home Finally on Hospice
To our Beloved Friends,
What an awful nightmare we’ve been living that we never seem to wake up from. We know you are heartbroken too, as my mom has read some of your texts, emails, and cards out loud. Thank you for reaching out. This diagnosis for my Dad doesn’t seem real. We were supposed to have him another 20 years. He’s been so healthy and vibrant and remained as strong as any man could after losing a son last year. I can’t help but wonder if that trauma triggered something neuro-chemically in my father’s brain. I would like to know the answer.
I’ve been on my knees praying for a miracle and wrestling with God…saying, how could you do this? It makes absolutely no sense. I am still in shock. My family is heartbroken. I am not as mature or wise in my years as many of you, but in my walk, I cannot deny God has shown himself to be loving and He speaks to me in the tender moments. If I reach through all the pain and confusion to grasp what is true, I know in my spirit He’s good, that He comforts, and I know what He’s promised which has always come to pass. I know His plan was never for us to feel pain, or suffer disease, emptiness, anxiety or brokenness, and if we fix our eyes and hearts on the glory to come this temporal suffering will be all worth it, as Romans 8:19-22 indicates.
To tell you a little story about my Dad, I can still remember in my twenties, when we pulled up to my new apartment in Bellevue in his car, and we sat outside. We had one of those deep talks where everything went still and nothing moved around us. He said to hear from God, it’s like tuning your radio to the right station. You have to find His frequency.
In a nutshell, he meant we have to cut out all the noise and be still. My Dad also said, “This world isn’t much if you think about it.” It astonished me because as a child he was the man who showed me a great big world with so many beautiful moments. I think what he meant was this world is nothing compared to the place beyond the clouds, the heaven God’s prepared for us. My Dad knew it in his spirit then, and he knows it now.
Tomorrow we move into the final stretch. The hardest part. We thank God my Dad is finally coming home tomorrow afternoon on hospice, especially with the new Covid lockdown and no visitors permitted at the hospital, regardless of their diagnosis.
As far as my Dad’s health status goes … he still recognizes us and seems to track some conversations but can only reply with a couple words and is short of breath. He is starting to have hallucinations again. We are doing everything we can to keep him comfortable and have set up a hospital bed in our living room with nurses making home visits.
We are unsure how many days or short weeks we have left. My sister Talia and her husband Michael, and baby Aria arrived last week from Denver. My Dad’s brother Randy flies in tomorrow, and my husband Dean and sons Milo and Brody will arrive Saturday [staying in an RV in the driveway, and getting Covid tests prior to coming].
I realize some, or many of you would like to visit my Dad despite the lockdown, and we want to honor your wishes and do that as safely as possible. If that happens we’d need to keep some distance, but ask that you give us a couple days to get our bearings with Dad so we can figure out how best to care for him. Perhaps we can facilitate FaceTime sessions too.
Also my mom is a little overwhelmed with phone calls and texts and unable to respond promptly. She’s exhausted with the emotional weight of it all and chemo on top of it as you can imagine.
[Mysti left a phone number here. – it has been redacted – please leave your messages below – we will forward them on.]
Here are a couple of verses my mom came across and shared yesterday through tears:
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
Please keep us in your prayers.
Mysti & family
I have been a member of Tacoma Photographic Society for many years. I didn’t really notice the unassuming engineer when he joined. Probably because Dan is always more comfortable in a back seat as an observer.
He wasn’t long making an impression however as his work has come to dominate club competitions. Maybe it was because he is so quiet and patient and willing to wait for the moment that his compositions are so excellent.
We were able to coax Dan to take a leadership role in the Society. His contributions at board meetings as Print Director have been thoughtful and wise. His greatest contributions were at our meetings. Either leading the Print meeting or providing critiques to our images. His style is always gentle; always finding the good points in an image while pointing out where it could use improvement.
Dan is also a humble photographer. When his image did not place as well as he may have liked, we would never know. He took the ranking and the criticism as kindly as he gave.
I look forward to the time when we will be able to meet again to display our prints. I pray that our friend Dan will be able to join us.
The Suckow Gallery
I have gone through the TPS archives and pulled up some of Dan’s better work (can’t find any of his less than better work 😉). Please take a moment to enjoy, to reflect, and to pray for our friend.