September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to a beautiful woman!

Today is my mother's birthday. I am proud to be her son.

Through my life no one has been there for me no matter what more than my mother. She has set good examples for me in every aspect of my life. Some of these lessons in life were cashed in a couple of months ago. My father was called home to heaven at the end of July. He had been very sick for almost a decade. As a child of a sick parent I had thoughts of one day his sickness taking him, but when it happened I wasn't prepared for how I would feel.

I felt lucky in a way when my sister called and told me. We drove four hours home to be with my family. In that time we had time to prepare for the grief that we would face back in Louisville. When we arrived the family welcomed us with open arms but there was a look of shock on their faces. My father had been sick before but he always rebounded. This time the infections were too much for his frail system to handle.

I planned on being there for my mother, because I expected her to break down and need support. What I found was a pillar of strength, poise, and grace, dealing with the situation as if being held up by angels. Her love and devotion for her spouse is very inspiring, a quality I will emulate in my marriage.

My mother tells a story of how she won a burial plot from a funeral home years ago and put the certificate on the kitchen table before she went to bed, when my father didn't come home until later than expected. My father came home saw the certificate and said
"I thought you would be mad about me coming in so late but didn't think you would get this mad?"

My mother sits at the mausoleum where my father is entombed. She was relieved to know that he will no longer be tormented in the shell that his spirit was in. In heaven he will have a perfect body.

On the day my father was entombed my mother called me in the morning and asked me to make some photographs of the arrangements and the spray on the casket. My father and I never really talked about photography but he gave me a lesson I will always take with me. Making those photographs were the hardest I have had to make thus far in my career. After that day was over almost every situation I have come across seems easier to photograph.

1 comment:

THE J Mo said...

Great post Jonathan. Thanks for sharing.