So I started my day the way I usually do… cuddling with Mouse, my 12 year old cat, listening to my dog Sasha’s tail wag against the floor as she hears me stir, and glancing out the window to see if I’m up against more rain or if its going to be a sunny day. So I grab my phone off the charger to check early morning emails and sift through Facebook before I get out of bed, and two things caught my attention this morning that gave me a completely new perspective about life in general. I’m not usually a “gush about my personal life” kind of person here on my blog, but after watching two separate videos that each made me cry (and yes… I’m a total crier), I took a pause to think about the reasons people take pictures in the first place. The first video was an interview with an older woman who had lost everything in the Oklahoma tornados. I won’t go into detail as its a really short video, but it ends with her finding her dog, miraculously alive among the rubble of her house. As a person who loves her pets like children this really touched me, and though it just seems completely unbelievable that this could be real, I took a minute to look at my animals, all safe and warm and cuddled up on my bed and on the dog bed, and I just felt a rush of gratitude for how much they enrich my life on a daily basis. I spent my summers in Oklahoma at my Grandparents farm when I was a kid…. and the visuals of peoples lives leveled to the ground touched me in a way I can’t express.
The second video I watched was much longer, about 22 minutes, and documents the last days of a kid named Zach who died yesterday of cancer. It shows how he chose to live his last few months of life while facing such a horrible fate. Now, I am usually not a super sappy person, and I almost never watch heartfelt videos like that that others post on Facebook. I am much more likely to page through quickly to see shots that other photographer friends of mine post, funny Cyanide and Happiness comics, and see if anything is going on that I might want to check out later in my day… but playing Smurf Farm Village Poker, posting things about my personal politics, or watching videos that have been shared from the internet are usually out, unless they are news related. I have no idea what made me click on that video this morning and then sit there for 22 minutes and watch the entire thing… but I am so glad I did. I sat there, tears in my eyes thinking about how lovely this guy was, and how many people are sitting at his house today brokenhearted by the loss of such a wonderful person. I then started thinking about all the people in my life that make me supremely happy on a daily basis that I never stop to acknowledge or thank, for the love, support, and laughter they bring. My parents come to mind… but I figured I would leave them for a completely separate post, so I focused on the my very small circle of friends that touch my life on a daily basis in a very profound way. I know there are a few that I don’t have a picture of here, and I hope you know who you are (Jaime and Dennis Viera, Luis Canales, and Ed & Alex McCarson to name a few) but I quickly went through my “personal” drive and picked out a few shots that made me smile, that I had yet to get around to editing. It makes me sad that I take pictures of some of my favorite people and important personal moments in my own life, and then they get saved to a hard drive and never see the light of day. I’ve got so many memories that I am going to make an effort to post here in the coming year because I owe it to my friends to show them how much they mean to me. Here is a tiny little snippet of some of the people (and animals) in my life that make me smile, make me stronger, and make my life so much better. Thank you so much Sasha, Mouse, Kevin & Deirdre, Jennifer, Rachel & baby Oliver, Erik and of course my wonderful partner Alex. I love you all so much, and am so grateful that you are all in my life. ~With love, Genevieve