Dear Dad, 2015 & 2019

In June 2019, my dad and I exchanged approximately 50 hand written letters collectively writing about our daily lives, hopes, dreams, and thoughts. This continuation of exploring my relationship with my dad comes from my own personal need to process how Kennedy’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, has shaped our familial relationships. - Morgan


This seemed like such a great opportunity to share our daily lives and yet so simple. I remember staying in touch with friends and family when all we had were letters and really expensive long distance phone plans. Gone are those days and that’s ok. I was certainly way out of practice and also glad to have the chance for some stream of consciousness writing to talk about anything from daily “stuff” to circumstances, events and feelings leading to how my day now proceeds. By the end of the month it seemed so natural and had me thinking, why didn’t I think of this sooner?” - David


Dear Dad, explores my relationship with my father, and his relationship with my mother and the house they live in. My father has Kennedy’s Disease which is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder resulting in muscle cramps and progressive weakness due to the degeneration of neurons in his spinal cord. It is not very well known, and it is not a disease that is expected to shorten your life. It is commonly developed in mid-adulthood, which is the case with my father. He became aware of it in his early 40s. He has an advanced case of Kennedy’s Disease at 58 years old, and his mobility, even in our home, is very restricted. This means he relies on others and especially on my mother and brother who live with him in Kingston. This series shows his independence, resilience and character through images and text.

Images are titled by my father.

Clearly the chair is more damaging to the house than a walker. I have been using my chair in the house for about 3 years and I know my first year in the house was practice, when much of this happened. I know the marks can be expected but it really is embarrassing when I see them. I wish they would go away, I don’t need the reminders.

Clearly the chair is more damaging to the house than a walker. I have been using my chair in the house for about 3 years and I know my first year in the house was practice, when much of this happened. I know the marks can be expected but it really is embarrassing when I see them. I wish they would go away, I don’t need the reminders.

Neither of us knew what was ahead of us – aside from lots of good fun together. Dreams. I was diagnosed 15 years later with Kennedy’s disease. Damn.

Neither of us knew what was ahead of us – aside from lots of good fun together. Dreams. I was diagnosed 15 years later with Kennedy’s disease. Damn.

New development in the last number of months. I need help getting into bed. Not always but most times now. My legs have been gradually weakening in the time dedicated in my chair over the past few years. One more step in a progression of steps. I sometimes wonder when the next step will present itself. I have to keep moving.

New development in the last number of months. I need help getting into bed. Not always but most times now. My legs have been gradually weakening in the time dedicated in my chair over the past few years. One more step in a progression of steps. I sometimes wonder when the next step will present itself. I have to keep moving.