Be good to each other

Last night after celebrating their birthdays my mom was looking at photographs from my parent's trip to Italy in 1991. She asked my dad if he remembered the names of the people in one of the photos. Dad responded with names, paused, then said, "They were good to us." Mom agreed. 

I felt like they were passing on 86 & 85 years worth of how to live - "Be good to each other." 

6_28_2013 Mom and Dads birthday party (51 of 65).jpg

Yoga

From the beginning of our relationship Jennifer told me I should try yoga. "I promise you'll love it," she would tell me. It took a few years but I finally gave it a try. We were at a yoga retreat and Jen was right, it was incredible.

For the next few months our friend Kendra, a yoga instructor, would come to our apartment and we would have a private session. Some days Kendra would put us in restorative positions. Jen and I would hold hands while our body and mind slowed down. I still can feel Jen's hand in mine.

Yesterday my sister Mary Ann signed the two of us up for a yoga class. It was very emotional, Jen was with me the entire time. At the end of the practice I felt a calm that has been missing since Jen passed.

Another gift from Jennifer. 

 

4-18-2011 Yoga with Kendra.jpg

College graduate

In 2010, not long after her cancer metastasized, Jen walked across the stage and received her diploma. Jen worked so hard to finish school - Marriage, full-time job and oh yeah, cancer. I was so proud of her. 

When I start to get overwhelmed I think about this and I reach deeper inside to find the strength to keep going. 

Jen NEVER gave  up.

 

Jen Graduation.jpg

Mom and Dad

Yesterday I spent the afternoon visiting my parents in the house I grew up in. This house has also been the only home my mom has ever lived in, save for a few months after she was born. This month mom will be 86. 

As I pulled out of the driveway I kept wondering (like I always do when I say goodbye) if I told them everything I am feeling. Did I tell them I love them enough? Have I thanked them for putting up with and raising me...I know I was difficult.  

Maybe it's the point in life I am at and the thoughts that come after watching a loved one pass, I don't know for sure. I do know that I cherish every second I spend with my them.  

6_12_2013 Mom and dad outside 437 as I leave.jpg

Jen, 2 years ago today

Sunday I was photographing a concert when a young woman who recognized the tatto that runs along my collarbone introduced herself. She told me she knew about Jen and me and has been folllowing our story. She then shared a challenge she is facing and that our story inspires her to not give up. 

This is one of the biggest reasons why I keep posting to this page. I always admired how Jen turned difficult experiences into something positive that helped others. That's how I want to live my life. 

Another lesson from Jen. 

 

6_11_2011 Jen portrait in hospital.jpg

Anniversary portrait, 2011

Anniversary dinner, 2011

Here is this week's Tuesday portrait. Jen and I were celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary at a restaurant in Greenwich Village. 4 years...it's hard to believe all that happened in such a short amount of time. Jen was a light in the dark and I am thankful for every second we shared here on this earth.

Jen portrait Anniversary dinner.jpg

No judging, just loving

I remember coming home with my first mohawk...Jen loved it. One of the coolest things about Jen was that she didn't judge - what mattered was who you are. 

The way we saw our relationship was like this - You walk out the door in the morning with your helmet on and life tries to break you down. When you get home there is no reason to need a helmet. We wanted to make life easier and happier for each other.

Mohawk.jpg