I am beginning my third week of "snow birding" in Arizona. We have come to Scottsdale for years during the month of January and so this year I came to spend the 3 weeks in our timeshares that Jan had scheduled. Each of these weeks there have been good friends staying in the same complex, so I have had people to spend time with. Julie Ann and family were here for 4 days last week and Joel comes this week for 3 days as we go over to a golf tournament that is in town. Thankfully there have been people around me or this time would have been unbearable and not something that I would have done.
It occured to me last night that I had not brought my camera with me. It was never on my check list of things to pack, as Jan always made that her priority. She had a passion to carefully record every trip and event with pictures and then spend the appropriate hours getting those pictures organized into albums. She loved going back and looking at the pictures and reliving the trip or event through them. It seemed that almost every day she would be capturing "Kodak moments" as the camera was always in her purse.
Since her death I have used the camera but once and that at Christmas time; and then of all things the battery went dead after two shots. In somes ways that seems an appropriate analogy of my life these last three months. November and December were kept busy with people and activities through the holidays. During that time I had many wonderful "Kodak moments" with my children and grandchildren and friends. There were some genuinely good times intermingled with the sorrow and sadness and grief. However, I didn't capture any of them myself on film. January began a new year and with it the onset of the regular routine of life, with fewer scheduled events then over the holidays. The reality of being a single man without my spouse became even more apparent and quite honestly life has been lived in the gray scale of black and white, rather than the robustness of full color.
Life is in so many ways a rapidly moving panorama of interaction with people, work, events to attend and the "doing of life". January has been for me a month is slow motion, filled with memories of snapshots, 47 years worth of pictures. Particularly of a birthday party that ended with Jan saying "what is happening to me" as the aneurism erupted in her brain. The snapshots of the next five hours are not pretty, but they are pictures that will stay with me for a lifetime.
I read the following this week: "Loss puts a sudden halt to business as usual. Life as we experienced it and expected it to be suddenly ends. We find ourselves bewildered that there is no relationship anymore...the process of life as we knew it ends, the continuum is disrupted, and the growth stops. The motion picture becomes a snapshot."
And yet every morning I seem to hear someone yell "ready...action...shoot" and the cameras begin to roll. The motion of life kicks into place and movement begins. Today I will have lunch with Sid and Char and then Sid and I will head off to play golf. It will be a good day and hopefully it will not decide to rain here in Arizona. I will have a good week with these friends that will be filled with pleasant memories. Jan would have been taking pictures and I should be doing the same; but I left the camera at home. I must not let that happen again.
The Bible reminds me to picture this: A place of calm, cool waters beside the green of a beautiful meadow. A field filled with sheep and a shepherd keeping careful watch. That is truly a "Kodak moment" and right now the Good Shepherd is whispering in my ear: "I am taking you to that place. Get the camera ready. I don't want you to miss the moment."
Have a good week.