Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Think I'll Have a Party, and You Can Meet My Friends

My mother wrote in a journal, "My brother, sister, and I lived in a lovely world when we were growing up.  We never knew of Freud, sibling rivalry, drugs or depression (except the financial kind)."  Mom has been gone for over a decade, but this idea of "lovely world" was driven home to me in the years I photographed Aunt Ruth, videotaped her, and most recently, sat in her bedroom as she recovers from her autumn fall.

When I asked Aunt Ruth if I could photograph her, she responded by saying that she would have a tea party, so I could meet all of her friends.  I had no idea that friendship, food, socializing, compassion, and even dressing up is as much a part of my legacy as my camera.

The world that Mom and Aunt Ruth grew up in and aged into is quite lovely, because they make it so.  Aunt Ruth's phone never stops ringing with friends of all ages checking her progress or making dates to bring her food, flowers, and laughter.  Yes, you read correctly...her PHONE rings.  There is something real, something beautiful, and...well....lovely about listening to the conversations Aunt Ruth has with family and friends.  It is grounding and reminds me of my deep gratitude for  my camera. Photography made it possible for me to meet Aunt Ruth's friends, brought Aunt Ruth and me closer than we would have been, and it brought us to YOU.

So, have a party and invite all of your friends.  Pick up the phone right now and call someone you love.  Remember what Aunt Ruth always says, "Make sure you have love in your life."

I am so glad I have hers...and the photos...and you in mine.