This entry has been written by PWS dad, and professional storyteller, Dan Yashinsky.
“Jacob has become a fine photographer over the last couple of years, and one of his photos captures a feeling that all of us probably have sometimes. It's a pair of boots - worn out but of high quality - tied together by the laces and left on the sidewalk. We'll never know the story behind them, but they caught his eye and his lens.
The photo was used as the poster image for an exhibit at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. I take it to show the psychiatry patients I work with at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. I show them the photo and ask them to imagine who the boots may have belonged to, and how they came to be left there on the sidewalk. What the patients often comment on is that the boots are scuffed and worn but quite well-made and will probably be picked up and worn again. They won't be thrown away by whoever decides to pick them up. They have value. They are still useful. They have a life and a history and a future.
As a family living with Prader-Willi Syndrome, the photo has a special resonance. First of all, I'm proud that Jacob has become such a good photographer, and that he keeps developing his skills. Mostly, I like the way that he saw something in those old - but well-made - boots that made him want to capture them in a photo. It's a good reminder to me and maybe to all of us that even when things are tough and filled with doubts, even when we're feeling scuffed and worn out, there is still value and beauty to be found in our lives. Those boots, at least for me, evoke more hope than despair. The journey continues, and it will have more good in it than sorrow. “
To see the photo, visit his Instagram account: @zavitzpearlnecklaces.