Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A last photo and a last word

The other day I was looking through folders of old photos on my computer, and I found an especially meaningful one that brought back a flood of tears and memories.  The lighting is terrible and it was never meant to be a good picture, per se, but I had stopped by my mom’s house shortly after purchasing my new 5D, and I was just sort of snapping away. This was the very last photo I ever took of Edd.
Feb 21 058-2-2
I remember him well in that spot. He was often sitting there when I’d come over to visit… reading the paper or a magazine or watching a show on TV. He’d say “hiiii Jenni,” or get up and come sit at the bar to talk to me. Whenever I go over to my mom’s now, I like to sit there in Edd’s spot, where he was in this picture.
It’s funny, the memories in a place. How a particular piece of space can hold such strong memories of a person that was there at one point in time. Like that old saying goes… “if only walls could talk.” If walls could talk over at my mom’s place, they would speak of so much love, you can’t even wrap you head around it.
One memory both Matthew and I have of Edd made a deep impact on both of us. We were over for dinner one night, and Edd was sitting in the kitchen at a bar stool and we were all chatting as my mom cooked dinner. I don’t remember how the conversation reached this point, but I remember this so vividly. Edd’s face was red and broken out a bit from chemo.  His body had really been ravaged, but there he was, with tears welling up in his eyes as he said, “yeah, I have cancer, but I’m really happy.”
I attribute much of that happiness to the fierce love between him and my mom—the way they gave each other strength when one thing after another was taken away from them. Sometimes maybe it’s a blessing when all you have left is the love.
And it really makes you think, you know? If everything was taken away from you, all the things you have no real control over, what would be left? I think I’ve found that the answer to this question is 1. your spirit (the part of you that doesn’t die), and 2. your relationships. And it makes me think about what I’m really “nurturing” in my life.  Really makes me think.
I tend to boil everything down to lessons learned in Harry Potter (ha ha), and one quote by Dumbledore always stood out to me. He said, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” And that’s so true, don’t you think? Edd’s life and death was proof to me that cancer and dying isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a person. But a life without love and friendships and close, healthy, meaningful relationships that transcend time and space and pain and, yes, even death? That would be the worst of all.
“Yeah, I have cancer, but I’m really happy.” What is in your life that brings you joy, even when life isn’t perfect? How can you build on those things, those relationships?
Just things I’m thinking today. Happy Tuesday. :)

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