This is why. . .

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed that I take a lot of pictures.  It is a rare occasion to find me without my camera within arms reach.  Whether we are moving from the living room to a bedroom, or taking a walk into the woods, or even taking a quick trip to the grocery store, I tend to fling the camera over my shoulder. . . just in case.  It’s like I have this unconscious, or not-so-unconscious, fear that I might miss a “moment.”  It’s almost a compulsion that says. . .

It hasn’t always been this way.  Taking pictures used to be an after thought, but everything changed in one single moment. . .

. . . it was March 30, 2010, the day after my Mom died.  There I was, sitting with Chad and my siblings on my parents couch and I was feeling numb, helpless, afraid, and over-whelmed.  All five of my Dad’s siblings had gathered and as I watched them from a distance I asked Chad if he would take some pictures.  I remember whispering to him, “I don’t want to forget any of this.” 

And so it began. . . this picture taking thing.

We didn’t even bring our own camera that day, but there was something in me that was screaming DON’T MISS THESE MOMENTS.  There was something about that scene in the kitchen. . . seeing my aunts and uncles gathered around my Dad, that was utterly tragic and incredibly beautiful at the same time.  Maybe that sounds strange, but that was the moment it started. 

We captured hundreds of “moment’s” during that week.  Some of them were beautiful while others of them were sad. . . all of them, though, were real.

Losing my Mom so suddenly shook me to my core and opened my eyes to the fragility of life.  During those days, and the days since, I’ve come to understand the brevity of life.  While I may not be able to control the number of my days, I can certainly do my best to fully live the days I do have. . . and taking pictures has helped with that.

I truly believe that even out of tragedy, there are blessings, it’s only a matter of looking for them. I’m so thankful for the joy and healing I have found by looking through the lens of a camera.  I’m grateful that this blog and community have accepted my pictures and my chatter, and has also given me a space to heal.  I am so privileged to be a part of this community that has allowed me to “put it all out there” and even celebrates the big, but mostly the small, moments of our lives. . .

I have been dreaming about my mom a lot lately.  Next month we will walk thorough that one year mark of life without her.  A day that seemed an impossibility last March.  And while my heart has a constant ache at her absence, I am also over-whelmed with the beauty that has come out of the ashes.  The beauty that is the simple little moments of life that I now see every day when I take the time to pick up my camera.

And that, my friends, is why I take so many pictures.

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
Dorothea Lange

  • Adopted Aunt - February 8, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    O Summer the pictures just add to the words that you so beautifully say. And yes I have been known to hear put that camera away. But my pic are not as good as yours. I am glad that you can see the blessings that have come from this past year. Its hard.

    Love pic of cc with rose and of course this one of Charlie and his tongue just make me laugh.

    You are blessed.ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - February 8, 2011 - 6:39 pm

    I'm glad you take so many photos and became a part of this blogger community. You are an inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Trophy Life - February 9, 2011 - 2:59 am

    i think it's completely awesome that you document the moments. all of them. there are MANY worse things you could do, right?!? ; )ReplyCancel

  • Love the Present - February 9, 2011 - 6:53 am

    I get you. In my life before medicine, I was a Creative Memories Consultant, about 15 years ago. Even then, before I had this family of my own, I saw how the story of a family comes to life with the pictures. I'm glad you take so many (thank goodness for digital cameras!).ReplyCancel

  • Written Permission - February 9, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Sum, this was beautiful. As are your pictures and your words with every single post. You are gifted, friend, and I'm so glad you're sharing that gift with all of us. I absolutely love the idea of beauty emerging from the ashes. Just loved this.

    Love you.ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - February 10, 2011 - 6:41 am

    Heavy sigh.

    I love you, Summer.

    What incredible insight into your love of photography…

    Your photos are always so beautiful.ReplyCancel

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