This is a story about Life and Death, but not in the order you might think.
As long as I can remember I have loved the still image. I remember as a child the first thing I would do when entering a friends house was to examine photographs. I would hide it from everyone as best I could. Glancing away as soon as someone came in the room. You see I realized over the years that I have a secret. I see life in pictures. Every image tells a story if you allow yourself to see it. Fast forward 30 some odd years and to a place that's been calling me from the corners of every room in my heart. A place that feels like home.
She died on a Friday. August 9, 2013 to be exact. One month to the day she would have turned 70. My mom's influence in my life has been all consuming and she fostered in me amongst other things a powerful understanding of the importance of the family unit. My mom had the courage to do whatever it took to keep that unit in tact no matter what life would throw our way. Through physical moves and the ups and downs of loss which took shape in many different forms for my older siblings and myself she always made sure that this idea of family was front and center. Her decisions weren't always what we wanted for ourselves, but looking back she always made those decisions with our best interest at heart.
When talking about family, my mom was quick to point out that family was what you make it. Her words were solidified with the adoption of my 4 little sisters over the last decade or so. It wasn't until her recent death did I really truly understand how deeply her desires were to broaden our family unit and the reasons why. Now when I see my own daughter playing alongside my sisters with a love so deep it brings me to tears and I watch them teach my boys life lessons only a child can give to another child do I truly understand that my mom's desire for a rich family unit was her gift to each one of us for the future. It's as if she knew my heart would be healed knowing we would all have each other now and they would always have each other even when I am no longer here to share in their life.
I've come full circle this year in my understanding of my life and how I want to share it with others. My mom's death has brought me new life. I want to fully immerse myself in others and help them see the beauty that is who they are and the richness of the Season they are in at this moment in time. I love the everyday moments. The authentic moments. If there is one lesson I've learned from my mom's death is that there is a beginning, middle, and end and it's important to live life to it's fullest and document as much of the time you have left. I hope you will allow me to document a piece of your lives in a way that you will remember not only your outward appearance, but more importantly, what your life and relationships mean to you.
Let me share your life in pictures with you. Life is a journey, not a destination.