I have so many pictures of Leroy at so many different stages of his life.
They begin when he was just an infant sitting on the grass at home in Southern California. It’s a sunny day and he’s smiling and I see that little face and even at that young age, I see the man. I see the adventurer, I see the smart guy, I see the little boy who would grow to be 6 foot-5 and I can almost hear the laugh.
I have two pictures near the computer where I’m typing and they are among my favorites. He’s standing with a glass of wine in his hand, his other hand is on his knee and he’s relaxed and there’s that smile again. The other photo is from Iraq. He’s dressed in his camouflage gear, a bandana over his hair and he’s in the middle of the desert with tanks everywhere. But, there’s that smile. A huge smile in the middle of a war, but he’s with friends and he’s in no danger…at least not in that picture.
Some would say I probably have too many Leroy pictures and Leroy memento’s around the house. I couldn’t disagree more.
At one point they were hard to look at because they made me so sad. But now I look at them and they bring a smile to my face. I’ve broken through that deep, sad time when even his name would bring a tear. Now, I’ve pushed away the force that worked so hard to keep me from remembering that these pictures were moments in his life that made him real: they made him alive and he was living in his time.
These pictures captured that lightning in a bottle moment that was Leroy Sievers. I was lucky enough to spend some time inside that bottle.
I’m even luckier to be able to relive some of it in pictures.