Monday, April 13, 2009

family photo

(this post is supposed to be a picture thing. if you keep reading, you'll see why it's a good thing my words tend to turn out better than my pictures...)

i can't tell you how much sleep i've lost over pictures recently.

i'm not sure what i thought i'd find different there today; i go every spring, after all. she was only there once...but i had a picture in mind.

it was a spring sunday, and the azaleas promised to be at their best. we were already dressed up for church, the sun was shining, the camera was in the car. so we drove to raleigh in search of the azaleas. they were amazing, as anticipated.

(much better than my phd [push here, dummy] photography.)

pictures of the flowers, pictures of the kids.

we scoped out the perfect spot, then searched for someone we might to ask to snap a picture for us. a dad was taking pictures of the rest of his family; i offered to take one with him in it, and he did the same for us. with my little phd camera, the man i wish i could find to thank took the beautiful picture of our family that everyone knows.

what did that man think? like others who didn't know her, couldn't figure her out: wow, that's a big baby...such long hair for a baby...she's sleeping right through it...she's so for the picture! i'd like to find that man and thank him for not asking and for taking the picture that would represent our family so often.

so the neighborhood azaleas have been blooming this week. time for my annual pilgrimage. prepared, with my new fancier camera and pictures of before in hand.

i don't know what i thought i'd find there today. she was only there once, after all. but i had a picture in mind.

the garden is indeed alive and beautiful as every year. not so my camera battery, it turns out.

see, it's not the cemetery that gets to me; in my mind, in my memory, in my picture...she was alive and beautiful and mine in that garden. i didn't know what to expect going there today. but the pictures i intended to take--of what, i don't really know--weren't to be.

i can't tell you how much sleep i've lost over pictures. the pictures i didn't take. i've been plagued by my lack of pictures of her in the last month and a half of her life. the last picture i have is a halloween picture of her dressed up as a bunny; she died just before christmas. how can i recapture all those days in between if i don't have any pictures? how can i prove she was alive and beautiful and mine all those forty-two days if i don't have one picture?

how will i remember what that garden--that alive and beautiful, perfectly blooming azalea garden that was mine for just today--looked like without a picture?

i hope that man's family picture came out as well as ours.

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