I knew the exact photo immediately, but I keep this particular one hidden from myself, so I had to search through my files. It’s been almost four years and I still grieve a little every day.
They went from this…
And this is the last photo of them as a family…
PS In case it would be of support to anyone reading this, here is what we use in therapy to help folks walk thorough Endings, in the healthiest way possible. Handy to use for closure in any and all Endings, big or small…job, moving, school, relationships, pets, favorite restaurant closing, new phone, etc.
This is worth exploring and expressing in all its forms…denial, wishful thinking, false hopes, etc.
It takes some practice but being able to express a truly personalized resentment, without any finger pointing or blame toward another, is a valuable, life-long skill
It’s important to acknowledge the things you wish you could have done differently
Remembering the good times is the natural pathway to the 3 stages below. It is why we tell funny stories at funerals.
Release and Relief
There is always a whoosh of peace after wading through the painful parts of grieving an ending
Now true gratitude can happen, for the whole experience, even the hard lessons that usually come from an ending.
To be able to re-unite after an ending, even if just in your mind, without a bunch of leftover baggage, is really and truly possible.
These are the natural stages of all endings.
In order to have healthy beginnings, with no leftovers lingering to muddy the new waters, these phases must be experienced and honored…
not necessarily in this order, but finishing the first four
Or maybe it’s because I have spent so much of my life around people who are blind, including several up close and personal relationships, in which I was often called upon to describe something beautiful with words. (I often fell woefully short. I mean, YOU try describing an Abalone Shell with words!) Maybe my awareness of visual beauty just became heightened.
In any case, in my world, absolutely anything qualifies.
So picking photos for this topic is a challenge. I’m going to go photograph the first thing that came to mind (mostly because my son and grandsons just brought me souvenirs from their Spring Break trip to Hawaii).
Be right back. (7:22 AM, 4/20/19)
I’m Back. 9 AM. That was both a fun and frustrating experience. Delightfully fun to experiment. And frustrating to realize there is just no fully capturing the amazing beauty of an Abalone Shell…at least not with my camera equipment.
Of course, this post made me research the history, meaning and healing properties of the Abalone shell. What an amazing gift from Nature! Here’s one site.
On a trip to Paradise (which is what we call my sister’s home on San Juan Island), I had a close encounter with some actual Ducks in a Row.
There was just a little confusion though.
(Never wished more for a good telephoto lens, but I hope you get the idea. I took these from the upstairs bathroom window!!)
The pond in Paradise is beautiful and a source of entertainment all year round. Right now, there is not a lot of bird activity but the other night, out on the lawn, we had a campfire, and were serenaded by an orchestra of frogs!!
Last Summer when we were there house-sitting, I got to witness one of those delightful mysteries of Nature.
Here it is in photos. Please forgive the quality, but try to enjoy the story.
It’s a big pond so lots of room for more than one type of waterfowl.
Here are two different duck-Mama’s, each with three ducklings.
Enter mysterious confusion.
I love this one. You can see the two baby siblings of the first born “odd duck” up above on the log with its adopted family.
Anyway, I guess these Mama’s cooperated in raising their ducklings…kind of a Blended Duck Family.
But they each got them all in a row at one time or another.
Like Nancy says in her challenge for us this week, I’m also not much of a girly girl. And unlike Nancy, for whom pink “is never my first choice of color for anything”, in days passed, I actively disliked and avoided PINK.
But I am cursed (yes, and blessed) with the drive to find a lesson in anything I “actively dislike”.
I wrote about PINK once before.
Some one gave me a gift…a polar fleece vest…in the ugliest color…bright fuchsia?! Not a color I would ever choose or wear…too fake looking….I didn’t even like people who wore this color. AND, didn’t the person who gave me this ugly thing, know that pink is way too “girly” for me? I put it in the closet…way in the back…
A couple of years later, I am on a Spring walk with my camera, in search of new flowers. I come across a stunning flower, the brightest color for miles around (or so it seems). I have these thoughts, “there are so many colors in Nature that we just have not been able to duplicate. We don’t even have names for some of the colors we see in a sunset or a flower. This flower is a spectacular color!! I wish I had something to wear in this color…”
I pick just a blossom leaf or two to take home. I put them in my pocket.
That same week I am doing a closet downsizing for a Goodwill run and find the never worn, long-forgotten ugly pink vest tucked way in the back…..and then I remember those bright colored petals!
I blushed about the same color!
Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite things to wear. I even got socks, a scarf and shoes with a stripe in the same color!
Now I’m wondering if I owe my gift-giver an apology…….
So I had to get to the bottom of this. Why such a strong reaction? It’s just a color, right?
Way too long a story (including a couple of years of hard-core therapy) later, I traced my prejudice back to a relatively off-handed comment from my Aunt. I had run away from home at 15 and ended up living with her in high school. She sewed these beautiful clothes for me, whole outfits for daily and church wear, as well as various Prom-type formal dresses. Always in hues of pink.
My favorite color is blue, since very early childhood, and my Aunt knew this so one day, I asked her to make me some thing BLUE. Her response, the casual remark I mentioned above? She said, “No, pink is better. Then the boys will all think you are still a virgin….”
I was shocked and protested, apparently way too much, because it was a disagreement we were still having when she was on her death bed. She never believed me and I never forgave her for that.
Still painfully ironic today because no budding young Flower Child, Hippie-Chick, California Girl in the 1960’s ever successfully fought harder to “save herself for marriage” than I did.
Talk about swimming against the tide of the sexual norms of those days!
So when I finally became more “enlightened” by the late 60’s and early 70’s, apparently I buried the reason for, but still held on to the active dislike of all things PINK!
Aren’t you glad you asked??
Oh wait, you didn’t…another bright pink blush here…
I have since fully embraced PINK in all its hues and tones, in nature, as well as in my decorating choices.
Here’s an example, if you feel inspired to read more about it. I wrote it to anchor the gratitude I have come to feel for my ancestors (especially my Aunt) and all their powerfully feminine (and PINK) influences in my life.
I am having a hard time grokking the whole “depth of field” concept but it’s probably because I am not really fluent in “photography speak”.
These first ones are my attempts at it but I can’t really make my phone or my point and shoot Canon do what I want. I thought they were interesting pictures anyway though.
This next one is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken. BUT, it was completely an accident and I have no idea how I did it! I’ve shared this photo before in posts about perspective, or looking deeper at things.