I’m sitting here writing this at 12:08 a.m. Mostly because I don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep without getting these thoughts out of my head, and partly because I am just a night owl at heart.
This evening I was washing my face, enjoying the warmth of the water on my skin, and I found myself looking up at my reflection in the mirror and being caught in thought. I thought about the things that had happened over the course of the past couple days. How much I’d accomplished in my list of to-do’s. How thankful I am to have had time to spend with friends and people I care about. And then I thought about something one of my friends had written the day before:
“One year ago was the hardest day of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and wish I could call you for advice and just talk about life. I miss you Dad.”
My friend’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer last year. I don’t know how she copes with this, since I can’t imagine how on earth I would be able to even wrap my head around something like that, but she has such a positive, happy outlook on life, which I know gives her strength.
I remember hearing about how he had passed away last June….and I recall just crying, crying, crying. For him. For her. For how unfair things can be sometimes.
Today she wrote that her new baby boy just laughed hysterically for the first time ever – seeing this, and imagining this made me so happy for her. And amazed at what we experience during our lifetime.
I looked at myself in the mirror again, face covered in soapy lather, looking a bit tired and worn out, and I thought to myself how truly incredible things are. I am not rich, and I am not without my share of stress, but I am alive. I am breathing. I am feeling, and feeling deeply. I am really pretty happy. I laugh a whole darn lot. I probably work way more than I should. But I love what I do.
People, I am so serious when I say how important photos are. I am totally guilty of not taking the time to have portraits made or make them for myself or my own family. And I need to be better about that. And you should too. Not so I can make a buck…that’s not why I do this (well, admittedly, this is how I make a living because I DO have to eat and put a roof over my head, but you get what I’m saying)…I do this because there’s a transcendent quality to images. They last. They hold onto emotions. They are simply incredible ways for us to time-travel. And they are important.
Because…tomorrow is not guaranteed.
I looked at myself again in the mirror. And I thought about some photos my cousins sent to my dad a while back. They were pictures of him with his older sister, Patty, my aunt. She passed away when I was in junior high, but we still have photos of her. It was wonderful looking through those old black and whites and seeing my dad and her when they were wee ones.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed…but we have the ability to hold on to a little bit of the present.
With that….I’m going to share some of those black and whites of my dad and his sister (and my grandma is in one, too). And maybe I’ll finally get around to getting my mom that photo of me she’s been wanting for…oh….10 years or so. ;)
Goodnight, all. Sweet dreams. And may you all have pleasant tomorrows. Take some pictures, or get some made, and pause your present for a bit. You’ll be glad you did.