Looking out my window, you'd never know it was summer. The sky is dark and rain has been alternating between drizzle and downpour. I like it, though. It has cooled things off a bit, but more than that, it matches my mood.
I'm quiet these days. I mentioned the rough summer I've been experiencing with annoying little trials and tribulations- nothing like the big losses felt by other people I know.
Until last week.
Last week, my grandma died. She had been having a number of medical troubles for the past few months, so it almost seems a blessing she won't be suffering anymore.
Everything feels different now. My grandpa passed away a few years ago, so this latest news means a generation in our family is gone.
We've all bumped up in line. My father and his brothers are now the head of the family. My cousins and I are now the second generation.
Considering I was the fourth generation until well into my teens, this feels huge.
It's also just plain weird to think Grandma won't be there to visit anymore. She won't be eagerly awaiting new photos of my family. She won't be making any new flower arrangements or telling me about the Florida Gators' football record. She won't be sending a Christmas card, nor will she be awaiting one.
And just what am I to do with the contact in my phone listed as "Gma Gpa Martin"? I left Grandpa in there after his death because it made me happy to see him there. I suppose I'll be keeping the whole contact for the same reason.
Over the weekend my family gathered to honor her. This photo sat framed next to her casket.
It is one of my favorite pictures of her. A copy of this photo used to sit in the corner of my great-grandparents' living room. I used to stare at it and think how beautiful my grandma was.
Another favorite photo is this one which I keep on my bookshelf.
My grandmother is that sweet, happy, little girl holding what looks like a doll. The mobster looking guy next to her is my great-grandfather. And no, he wasn't a mobster. Also, when I knew him, he was generally fairly smiley. But that's why I like this photo. It looks like a whole different world.
A couple of days before the funeral, my cousins (the female ones, anyhow) passed around a box of Grandma's jewelry that my aunt had saved. We each chose a few things to bring home. I chose three pins: a navy blue jeweled circle with flowers and two butterflies.
I hadn't realized my grandma and I shared a love for butterflies until I saw her pin collection. There were quite a few butterflies (and even more flowers, which I expected).
Before going to her funeral, I fastened one to my dress. It was comforting to know a little piece of her was touching me as we said goodbye.
I'm sharing these photos with you for two reasons. The first is that sharing them is helping me heal. You will never have the chance to meet my grandma and, yet, now a small piece of her is with you.
Second, I've decided to join Susannah Conway as she turns to photography for the month of August. She calls it the August Break and explains it this way:
Each day, for the whole of August, take a photo and share it on your blog. You can add words if you want — or not. You can use any camera. You could share a series of photos, or miss a day out, or just post on weekends. There are no real rules, basically. This is all about being present and enjoying taking photos just for the hell of it.
So, these are my photos for today, August 1st. I didn't take them today, but they were from the past week and they are special to me right now.
I'll continue sharing little snippets of my life as seen through my camera lens. If you would like to do the same, stop by Susannah's August Break page to see how it works.
One more thing. Maybe today you can hug someone you love. Or call them if they are too far away to hug.
Share love now. Because now is all we have.