For some reason, almost every year, this particular rose bush leaves one bud, just high enough to see from our dining room window.
This year has been no exception, and for whatever reason, through all the weather, it has remained beautiful and red, until when this last, bitter cold spell arrived, it began, suddenly to yellow and die.
I thought I must get out and photograph it before it lost all color, so Wednesday afternoon, I did just that. My kids really must think I’m silly, but to me it has been a symbol of hope, holding out ’til just a month before the weather should begin to warm, and we’ll see next season’s new growth emerge.
My sister got a slide converter for my Mom for Christmas, so Mom’s going back through old boxes of pictures and converting them to digital files. Above is my late Father with my second daughter, Samantha. She had been complaining, we didn’t have any pictures with just her and Dad, so she was excited to see this show up.
Here’s an even older one. My sister is the small girl child, I’m in the middle and I’m not sure who the older girl is. The man was one of our neighbors, until we moved when I was three, so this must have been around 1975.
A few weeks ago, I was taking the girls to school after working late, and the girls commented on how beautiful the sunrise was, so after I dropped them, I went across to the new county building and played around ’til I got a picture I liked.
When we first got our digital camera, I bought an instructional course and had the older kids take it along with me. Our fourth child, Grace took this of her youngest sister. I really liked this shot. Grace has become very good at shooting portraits.
My wife and I were actually married twice. The preacher wouldn’t marry us without a license, and because we wouldn’t be in Maryland long enough to get a license when we got married, we were first married in a civil ceremony at a justice of the peace in Texas, where we both lived at the time. This picture was just prior to the first ceremony on June 24, 1996. We would be married by the preacher, in Maryland, a month later, on July 20th.
Finally, a picture of my son with a group of his friends, after they completed a performance of the musical, Annie. Talking with a friend this week, I put into words something that has been tearing me up for the last month or so. I’m beginning to lose my son. His memory is taking on a patina of age and beginning to lose its sharpness. It’s something I should have known was coming, but it’s nonetheless surprising, after just a year. I absolutely love this shot. His smile, the joy of having pulled off a killer performance with lifelong friends. A little more than a year after this shot, the boy second from the right, would be helping carry my son’s casket to the hearse.
Life really is good, but it’s sure uncertain, and it passes so very quickly.
Love ’em while you have ’em.
Take joy in the moment.
While I was preparing the eulogy for Danny’s funeral, my brother in law, Kevin, reminded me of a poem by one of my favorite poets, John Donne.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.