Out in the Field: Photojournalist Experiences Love and Loss

As a photojournalist, Rodney Rocker regularly meets grieving families while covering news stories.  Today, he is facing a tough loss of his own.  His mother, Mattie Rocker, passed away after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.  The following excerpt is a tribute to his mother.  

On the morning of June 29, 2017, I was working the early shift at the news station. Nothing was going right that day; I was making mistakes that I normally don’t make, and I immediately knew something was wrong. Halfway through my shift, I left the station to drive to Jackson, Alabama to see my mother. Just a little background info: my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s fifteen years ago.


I made it to my mom’s house at around 3:15 that day, and I went to her room and watched her sleep. Little did I know those would be the last couple of hours I would see her laying in bed at home. My mom passed away at 6:30 that night. My mother meant so much to me. She always supported me in everything I did, and always lifted me up when others turned me down. I was the youngest child of seven, and I know that God placed me with the perfect mom. From my Boy Scout days as a young child, to my band/sport days in high school…even into my professional career, she was always there for me with unconditional love and overwhelming support.

She fought a long, hard, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. This horrible disease did not defeat my mother; she defeated it because she is now in heaven with my dad and God.  God is so wonderful. He knew he was about to take my mother to heaven with Him, and He paved the way for me to be home to see her before she left this world. The same thing happened with my dad.  God knew I was a busy man at work, and He allowed me to spend some precious time with my dad before He took him home.

Her loss has been so difficult for me to accept, even though I know deep down she is in such a great place and free of pain. I am surrounded by so much support and love from my work and Facebook families, which really help me get through my darkest days. I will always love you mom. Thank you for being my biggest inspiration and supporter. I am going to really, really miss you.

With Love,

Until we meet again,

Your youngest child,



Rodney Rocker has been a photojournalist in Mobile, Alabama for 13 years. His interests include photography, videography, exercising, traveling and watching sporting events.

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