Sunflowers among the weeds...International Bereaved Mother's Day 05/05/19

Sunday, May 5th is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. I’ve done blog posts in the past, and after spending some time editing sunflowers that I happened upon here locally, I saw an opportunity to share in part what I saw while photographing these beauties.

Sunflower season here in Solano and Yolo Counties will be sometime in June, and yet I was able to find a few springing up in a field where they were last year. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. I’ve added a few fun facts about them just to give you an understanding of how amazing they are. Sunflowers are used to demonstrate a mathematical term called a Fibonacci sequence. You can also see this sequence in artichokes and cauliflowers. While reading about this sequence in sunflowers researchers have found that the patterns can be inconsistent in sunflowers and quoting the article “real life is messy.” This is a truth that is lived out daily in the life of a bereaved parent and when speaking about loss and grief. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/sunflowers-show-complex-fibonacci-sequences It is the only flower to have the word “flower” in its name. Sunflower removes toxins and is a natural decontaminator of soil. They have been used to clean up dirt at some of the biggest environments disasters, including Chernobyl and Fukushima. Sunflowers are native to the Americas. Some of these facts come from this article. https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-sunflowers-3972329 As you might now see sunflowers have a medicinal quality to them. They have been used to heal and remove toxins from soil. As I photographed these beautiful flowers, I was struck by the fact that even though they were growing among weeds, they thrived. I saw a few bees although they seemed to be moving slowly and possibly dying. So much about these flowers lead me to see myself and other bereaved mothers the same way.

These flowers were strong. Even though the weeds had dropped some of the seeds to strike down these flowers they still stood firm...strong almost like flower sentinels. They’re looking for the sun and following its course across the sky. They are beautiful. Some of their petals hidden from the sun but just as yellow and brilliant as the noonday sun. Some of these beauties had yet to open, and many of them winking so to speak as only a few of their petals had started to open.

This blog goes out to all of you who mourn the loss of your child/ren. You inspire me. Even amid your loss, you continue to move towards health. You still remind me that you are bright sunflower standing firm in your memories of your child/ren. You are learning that your loss has defined for you those things that are toxic and you move towards removing them from your path. Some of you are still trying to figure out what you need and yet, you persevere opening up just a few of your petals as you follow your path. The loss of your child will continue to shape each move you make. It will define who you are and why you do what you do. I pray that you continue to remain strong and resilient. Standing tall like a sunflower.

For now that is enough...

I’ve been away from my blog since before Christmas. Most days are filled with job responsibilities and regular household chores there is something in me that seems different not all together me. I keep thinking that things will get back to how they always were. That life as I’ve known it good or bad will return, and all will feel normal. Then I realize my life isn’t normal. It will never look like it did. My life will never have Evan in the spaces he usually occupied. EVER. I go back to those spaces hoping to find him…to sense his presence. It’s hard to describe to people how your mind works after your child has gone. I look at photos and think to myself it feels like he is here. But there is such an emptiness. There is such emptiness in the spaces he once inhabited. There is an emptiness in the world since he left. My words feel hollow…without real form or bones to help them take shape. I was driving this morning, and I had this feeling of everything continues, but yet my heart wants to go backward. I want to recapture what once was and bring it into the future to live with me here. I want Evan to come home. I’m learning to navigate the parts of me that are healing and the parts that are gaping wounds. I’m trying to find and listen to my voice and yet I want to be a voice for my son too so that he is not forgotten. Saturday mark many anniversaries-it’s my Dad’s 2nd birthday in Heaven. It also is 822 days since Evan was taken off life support to give life to 5 others. As I've walked out my journey, I also realize many parents/siblings that are walking out the same feelings, anniversaries, the same emptiness, the same longing that our family has. I say this for understanding. That I can bring you along with me as a conscientious/thoughtful/ observer.

To be mindful that we miss our person(s). That we want to hear their name. That you can't stop our pain. (IT WILL BE FOREVER) That we're not stuck. We are living each moment of each day with a wound that is healing but will always be there for us. Even if you can't see it. That you can show us love by sharing stories about our person. We're doing our best, and sometimes that may not be enough. For now, my soul is healing along with the soul of our family, and that is enough.

Christmas Sweaters, Sheep Hats, and Songs Unsung.

Most of my days are filled with busyness. My photography business is thriving in this season. My job keeps me busy with community stuff. We/I are surrounded by an extensive circle of friends and family. I’ve not written much over the last few weeks. Its very hard sometimes to convey the thoughts and pondering of a grieving parent. The holidays are filled with wonder and magic…grief although not part of the Christmas story it’s those early memories of birth and life that make the holidays at times so hard. This is our third Christmas without Evan and although softer the edges are still rough. https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-made-you-cry-holiday-season/?fbclid=IwAR0hPT1OGomkWkK62J4EhRx34Kk84rWyPtbEGKudH5z84wR-t7jLkBSqN_4

Some of the sweet memories of long ago Christmas’ are not very fresh in my mind. It’s not until I go to a sweet school program and see children dressed in their holiday bests does the rush of memories return. Most days I can be present with friends who are enjoying seeing their kiddos perform the best and sweetest Christmas tunes. But in those moments the file cabinet opens, and the files start flying out. With that, I’m immediately ushered to a Christmas program from Pre-School or Kindergarten days with my boys. It was always something that was important to us to be at our kids' programs. Wise man costumes, Christmas sweaters, sheep hats and so much more. Most of my ponderings are melancholy. I miss those days and on some level miss that for Evan I will never see these kinds of days played out with his kiddos. That the planet will not see songs sung by Evan’s kiddos. Yes, this is what this grieving mom thinks. I’m not alone in this thought. We miss the future, and we look to hold on to the past. Holidays are sticky that way especially when you have memories that are tied to traditions, and you’ve not started new ones cause it’s too painful to change the one thing you miss so much. We are trying new things and seeing what works and tweak them as we go. Maybe the thing that makes my heart sing and cry is that I choose to be present with friends who currently are experiencing these great moments. I see the love they have for their child and the special way their heart sings when they see their kiddo perform. It takes me back to those moments and just for a split second I’m transformed to that time in history when I too had a heart that sung and burst with love for my kiddos as they performed.

Road Noise

As I continue down the road of grief I am struck by the things that take me from such great joy to weepy tears. I'm not even sure how to quantify it or give it a number on a scale. I spend a lot of time reading and listening to books. As I've shared in other posts I am listening to a book on Heaven and a book on waiting. Both of these areas in my life have been a struggle. Kinda like that kid that wants to be president at the place that they work even before they learn how to count back change at the register.  As I've said in previous blogs Heaven has always been abstract to me and because my faith points me to Jesus and the bible I don't really want to speculate about it. I want to know what the bible says as that is foundational...my center. On top of reading/listening to many books I am attending a faith-based small group on grief called Grief Share.  All these things keep me a float...keep me moving...processing. They keep me reaching out to grasp what is really not something you can grasp. So what it does is give me strength. It gives me Faith to look beyond what I can see and it gives me Hope that what I think and believe are Truth and that at some point it will bring peace and understanding. 

Roads are a funny thing. I've spent most of the summer on the road either on the east coast or west coast but always on the road. I went on a road trip this last weekend and we had times on this trip where the highway was smoothly paved. The road noise was minimal. You could hear the stereo in the car without having to crank it up and the skies were clear....smooth sailing so to speak. We then had places where the road was so rough from years of weather and chains from vehicles that you could not even hear yourself think. You couldn't hear the radio. You couldn't even have a conversation as the noise in the car was so loud and storms that nearly blinded you as you drove down country roads in the dark. Sometimes you turn down a road that you think is the right one and all of a sudden you are at a dead end. You make a plan that you are going to leave at a certain time. You stop just to get food and go to the bathroom no extra stops just to realize it took you about the same amount of time as it did when you enjoyed the journey. Stopped and looked at the sights. Made memories and took your time.

I share all of this because grief is very similar to the road trips I've been on and to be perfectly honest life is this way as well. It takes me to places I didn't want to go. Sometimes I enjoy where I'm going and the effects of it leave me refreshed and my burden is lightened. Sometimes the noise is so loud I can't hear what is being said to me and I zone out. Sometimes I just want to get home...to do it my way. I forget about all the beauty that is around me and if I had just stopped...walked around...and practiced pondering I would have gotten home in just the right amount of time and enjoyed the journey.

Evan, we love and miss you so very much. Every memory is bittersweet and filled with the what if's and why not's. As I travel this road I hope to have less of those questions but for now...It is September and that means that you have been gone 10 months....but really it is for eternity.    e·ter·ni·ty  əˈtərnədē/ ~  noun ~ infinite or unending time. 

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/sundial-bridge

https://www.amazon.com/Real-Heaven-What-Bible-Actually/dp/0801016134 

https://www.amazon.com/Wait-See-Finding-Peace-Pauses/dp/0781413559

http://albanycarousel.com

Solar Eclipse of 2017

Summer always brings a trip to see my folks in South Carolina. This year, as in years past, I went to our family reunion in Pennsylvania. I went this year without my parents and my Dad's absence was felt by all but especially by me. I was fortunate to have my dear friend go with me and we sang, and joked, and dodged massive thunderstorms. 

One of the highlights of my visit to see my mom this year was the fact that the Solar Eclipse of 2017 was passing through South Carolina and was less than an hour and half from my mom's house. So I had to choose whether I wanted to drive 10 hours and countless traffic jams to go to Oregon or drive an hour and half on the country road of South Carolina. So I extended my stay in South Carolina so that I could be a part of something that I will not be alive to see when it happens again.

I spent every available moment researching to find the right place to capture this event. When I went out the Saturday before the eclipse I found a little city along the path of totality. The city of Clinton is just southwest of Charlotte and was close to my brother's home. I didn't want to have to deal with all of the people going to the larger cities in the path of totality such as Greenville, Columbia or Charleston so this little town was the perfect fit. 

When I ventured out Monday the plan changed slightly cause I was trying to out run the clouds that threatened the skies. I started my way to Clinton but ended up in Whitmire which is right off of the highway just before Clinton. I set-up all my gear and just as I did that a large cloud came overhead and it began to drizzle. I decided I still had time (about 20 minutes) to move further southwest closer to Clinton proper. I headed down the highway and happened upon a little country church where I saw another group of folks watching and the skies were clear. I parked and set-up my gear and determined that this would be the spot for me as the eclipse was beginning. A few of the folks I met were on their way home to Vero Beach, Florida and they had stopped to watch. One of the parishioners of the church came by just to say Hi! The locals had heard that people had stopped by their church so they were curious about the people who had camped out in the parking lot. 

As I began to photograph this spectacular event just before totality began a crazy storm cloud approached and covered the sun. I was so disappointed as I thought I had missed the biggest part of the event. I kept shooting although through clouds I didn't want to miss anything. This was a difficult shooting opportunity for me as there was so many different elements and weather conditions to accommodate. Many of the shots aren't focused well as the clouds and changes cause camera shake. As I reviewed and edited the photos my thought was that I did capture some great moments and although not perfect I did my best and I know that my husband and my sons would be proud of what I accomplished. 

I hope that you enjoy these photos it was such a great adventure. Thanks Zachary and his family for sharing the day with me and to my brother Shawn who helped me scout out my location and to the people of South Carolina thanks for the hospitality.                                                           

.......The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.   Psalm 19:1

Thank you, Mom. I can't wait to see what you capture next....

Last year I was challenged to take my art out into the world. This challenge came in the form of a letter written from Evan but I had also many friend who told me I should try. So I did and it was successful. I placed in many of the shows I entered and won small monetary prizes for those placements. I'm glad that I did it and it helped me see a different side of photography....

I was unsure if this year I would be up to the task of placing my photography in the numerous shows that I had last year. Some of my motivation was that Evan and Alex really helped to move me forward and honestly putting your work in shows is time consuming. But I felt that I had a few piece that I could enter and my motivation was different this year so I entered a few shows along with entering the California State Fair. I've included those piece in this blog post.

Being an artist is unique and beautiful. It can also be demanding and test you in ways that you thought impossible. Sometimes I think that it was more then I bargained for this thing I do. I want to say that since the loss of Evan my world has changed...I can't really describe it but I feel the full impact of my loss every single day. I was out yesterday and nearly every place that I went or drove past had a memory of something or brought back to me a conversation I had with Evan. The other night I was out looking for picture frames for photos that I was placing in an art show I ran into some dear friends who asked, How are you??? Well at that moment I was deep in the process of trying to get frames and I was great but as I talked further I was grateful to get through a conversation about how I was without tears. Please don't take that the wrong way...for me that is a step forward in my healing. I want to be at a place that the very conversation about Evan does not destroy me.....crumble me to a "bucket of tear"so to speak...."grief ambush" as it's called in my small group study that I'm doing. I want to be able to have conversations that invite people towards me...to not be afraid to see people or have them avoid me or feel awkward. To be real grief is scary....and awkward...and crummy but it is also part of the process of loving and being loved. I'm grateful to have loved Evan and that he loved me too. There is so much joy in that...if I hadn't loved there would be no sadness or this grief that I have. Maybe that is what is different is the full impact of our love is felt in loss. Yes...I think that's what is different is that I know that if I love fully the full impact of the loss of that becomes very clear and painfully real. It goes back to something I believe the Lord is showing me.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror.....1 Cor. 13:12. 

 

We Back the Blue.

Earlier in June we had the great honor to celebrate as a dear friend graduated from the police academy. His hard work and determination paid off as he walked across the stage and was presented his badge. It had been a long 6 months and one that was marked by great accomplishment but also great sadness. Christopher had been accepted into the program about the time our son, his dear friend, was in an auto accident that left him brain dead. It was a difficult time for all of us and yet in it a great thing emerged. Christoper started the program and 6 months later he is starting his job as a police officer. 

I'm grateful to be included in such a time of celebration and I look forward to the great things he will accomplish in the months and years ahead. Best Wishes, Christopher! We love you! 

Giving Comfort

The month of June has zipped by and I am finally able to stop and catch my breath. In the process of me catching my breath I have also found that the busyness has kept me from the full extent of my sadness. I've learned to navigate this part of my life as the spaces that I inhabit don't always allow me the opportunity to go there. I will hear a song, see a photo or just be reminiscing of moments I've experienced that bring me to the brick wall that is my grief. It stops me and as I'm shaking off the fact that I've run full force into it...it looks at me unshaken and with not a blemish that I have hit it and all the while I'm left beaten and battered trying desperately to get my balance and footing. Some times it is much more subtle...not as much of an assault but more sly...in the midst of great laughter and fun it sneaks in and crumbles me to a sentence I use often..."a bucket of tears". 

This month I've felt like I was being taking on a ride that I thought would be fun. It had all the makings of good times and loads of happy moments but for me, in this season I can't help but think of the missed moments I will not have. I know...bummer but this is my journey and it is at times very much a bummer. I miss seeing my son with a group of his friends as they celebrate a great accomplishment of one of their own. I reminisce about what his response would be....and think about just how happy he would be for this dear friend. I think often of those who miss him but are really not sure what to do or what to say and I wonder...What does a 20-something do with their grief? I think of some of the dearest people I know that as they look at me from across a room and wonder about this journey they are on with me as they can't fathom the depth of my sorrow but are walking with me. I think of the many near and far who reach out almost daily with texts, Facebook messages, hugs and love. 

As I sat in church today and listened to our pastor lead worship and preach from the psalms. The message from Psalm 142 as David is hiding out from those who would want to capture and destroy him. I was brought to tears thinking of not only my own heartache but that of my husband and son too. As I am weeping in church as his message and worship are striking a cord I receive this text from a dear friend of Evan's~"Hi my sweet Dawn. I am thinking of you now and missing Evan so much. Crying out to God (while literally crying haha) and I just take this moment to honor him and wanted to tell you he is on my heart so much and so are you. I know God is showing us something so big right now, I hope to grasp it soon so I won't be so sad. Love you so much". As I watched as my own pastor can't proceed with his message as he too thinks of the things that his sheep are going through and like any shepherd his heart is turned towards them. As I get a hug from a friend who knows me and knows my story her hug is so close I can hear the beat of her heart...to a sweet new friend who only knows me on social media but comes over and holds me...no word are necessary...as I weep. Then I think of the beautiful sunset last night among my sunflower fields that I believe are God's gift to me...cause those faces are just the best thing in all the world. I know that all of this and more are part of my journey. Part of the steps I walk in my healing. That the tears that I cry don't go unseen. That God because of His great love for us sends these, that are giving comfort, as only the God of the universe can do. 

Mother's Day for those who are bereaved.....

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day https://goodmenproject.com/families/the-importance-of-international-bereaved-mothers-day-bbab/ 

As I think about Evan and the loss of him I can't help but think of all the other parents but especially Mom's who have lost a child. It is never easy..it continues to hurt...but we keep moving inch by inch..moment by moment. The immense love that we felt is only made harder but the immeasurable sadness we feel with our loss. 

Yesterday when I got home from work we had received a letter from the Donor Network. The folks who connect donor families to the people who have received their loved one's organs. In God's great mercy and because of His great love for us...this letter arrived this week. The great excitement that this recipient has experienced from receiving Evan's heart....that it has brought him back from the brink of death has made it is so very bittersweet for me. I'm so glad that he felt safe enough to contact us. That he has shared how his life has been immediately changed. How he is doing all that he can to live a health life and use the gift that he received to tell other to give the same gift. I can't help but be so overwhelmingly mournful of our great loss. 

With that said...We would not change the course that has taken place with Evan doing what was in his heart....and that was to be an organ donor. I'm proud of him and his very clear and direct decision to donate his organs. We continue to see God's hand in all of it and never once have thought this was not what Evan would have wanted. So as I close out this blog on this day that many are struggling to understand why and what can this all mean...let me encourage you. Hold your head up as well as you can...I know from experience it is not always easy...be present in the everyday...and if you can, think about giving the gift of life through being an organ donor. You could change the course of someones life. I know that it did for Lee.  https://www.donornetworkwest.org

Taking to the open roads of North Carolina....

On Friday I woke up and wanted to see something beautiful.  I'm rather partial to water features so I found out that there are lovely waterfalls less than 3 hours from Charlotte. So I took off with my camera, some snacks, and water to the Pisgah National Forest. It wasn't until I stopped at Starbuck's in Hendersonville, NC that I realized I forgot my wallet. Not only that but I had about a half of a tank of gas. UGH.... anyway, I kept going towards the mountains and arrived at the national forest. I stopped and looked at the map by the rangers station and made a plan to go look at a few of the falls that have made this region famous. The map and info provided below courtesy of Pisgah National Forest Ranger Station.

 

I made my way towards Looking Glass Falls, which is just inside the park. The great thing about it was that you can observe the falls from your car it’s that close. I ventured out of my car though and walked down to get a closer view. The roar of the water was so refreshing for a brisk nearly spring day. I thought a lot about my boys. I wish I could give you a quick thumbnail of my thoughts but there where too many. Mostly that I miss Evan….nothing new there. Mostly I feel for Alex and that adventures that could have been will not be with his brother. I thought of my extended family and that of my husband. As I drove along I thought of my husband also as I saw so many people fly-fishing along the waters edge. It was a beautiful day with water.…my thoughts….and creation.

This was taking from the roadway.

This was taking from the roadway.

During my brief adventure I also went to Looking Glass Rock that was not too far from the falls. When I stopped and got out to take a few photos in the distance I saw one of the native birds of this area a Peregrine Falcons. I’ve been having a few encounters with falcons lately and the beauty of that is it gives me a sense of connecting with Evan. It is as if the Lord allows it just to give me a sense of comfort. The Lord does this so often for me as I’m out in creation. It's worship really…I can hear Him. He lets me know that he’s near…that He sees my longing…that He know that my heart is searching…looking for my boy. I’ve done a little bit of studying about falcons but truly I’m not looking for anything supernatural….I’m just looking for the Lord to show me what He wants me to see and to find comfort in the connect He makes with me. My hope is that you see the beauty that I see and that you too can see Jesus in what I share.

 

Tristan William Lee.....the smallest gifts bring such great joy.

I've been fortunate to have several dear friends who have had babies in the last month. Oh my goodness how I love watching new families move through the welcoming of an infant into their lives. So many new things to see and figure out not the least of which is feeding schedules and sleeping...oh precious sleep. 

I had the pleasure to go over to Blake and Chelsea's home to photography Tristan. He was just as sweet as when I saw him briefly in the hospital. He was already forming his own personality and was being watched over by his precious parents and grandparents. I'm grateful to Blake and Chelsea for allowing me to come over and be a part of such a major life event for their family. I've known Blake and his family for most of the 25+ years that I've lived in Vacaville and the fact that Blake and Evan have been friend through most of that time made this time of connection very special to me. 

Here are just a few of my favorites from the hospital and my home visit at about 10 days old with little Tristan William Lee Pullin....born three weeks early on January 25th, weighing 5 lbs. 11 ozs. and 18.5 inches long. 

First of many family photos. Much love to all of you. 

Drying out from the rain....Capture 2017 Week 2

We have been under clouds of rain for the last week and finally in the last few days we have emerged to dry out and be outside. Although the dampness has caused a bit of ground fog it has still been nice to see the sun and although I LOVE the sun there is beauty to be appreciated in the rain and fog.  

The journey I'm currently traveling is a strange one for me. I have moment of great joy and happiness (the sunny days) and moments of such great sadness and tears (the rainy days) with moments of not knowing if I can see beyond the moment I'm in (the foggy days). Now I can use other analogies that are weather related...but these are the ones that are the most fresh....the here and the now moments. I suspect they are no different then what you probably experience on a weekly basis but I've found that I am much more contemplative~ watching...looking...observing. Trying to find Hope at a time when I feel rather lost and out of sorts.

We recently found a few of Evan's writings and I'm amazed at his work. So much depth. It's funny cause I too wrote much during my younger years. I guess we both had a lot of emotion that didn't have an outlet so we wrote. Most of those writings were born of pain and sadness. Evan's too have the same flavor...depth...sadness. Many though are quite spiritual....almost prophetic so to speak. I hope to add them as I post these updates to the Capture 2017. 

 

Contingency   

My heart never told my brain to have a contingency plan.

Landlines, locked down by strong winds,

pacified by semi-meaningful promises and

dual-fated illnesses, lack the structural integrity to hold out

and the floodgates burst wide.

Even the eye of the storm–mildly calm compared to

the rest of the sorrowful, cloudy night– is brainwashed

into thinking that it has to act as the rest of tempest must:

with vengeance till the last exhalation

and the floodgates burst wide.

Though I've dabbled in sailing and preparing safety nets,

it must've slipped my first mate's mind to prepare

my last line of comfort and consolation.

I am alone. No one can hear me. I am alone...

and the floodgates burst wide.

My psyche is lost in the tide.

I cannot get out.

 By Evan Kenneth Kincade    3/08

God is in the every day.....be present.

I have been out sorts since about the third of November. As I look back over the last 45 days I'm trying hard to remember some of the everyday things that I stopped and photographed. On the 4th of November 2016 my life and the life of my family was changed forever. At 3:22am we were woken up to the sound of brisk knocking at our front door. When I looked through the shutters I saw two officers and realized that this could not be good news. Unfortunately it was not.....they told me that Evan had been in an accident and they needed us to come to Kaiser hospital. I woke up my husband and my son and we made our way to the hospital. I honestly don't remember much but some of the things I do remember is waiting what seemed like a life time before we saw Evan. I remember the strength with a bit of apprehension that my husband and my son displayed that day and through out our time in the hospital....and I remember how quiet it was...on the drive over...in the waiting room as we waited to see Evan. It was almost as if the Lord was putting a blanket over us....a tangible protection so to speak....so that we did not get to far ahead of ourselves. Anybody that knows me knows that (in my mind) I can go to places no one has gone before but on this day I was under the protection of the Lord who knows and sees all that is going on and I had great Hope about what was before us. Now....does that mean I was not scared...no I was totally scared. Was I not worried...OF COURSE I was worried but what I'm saying is even in the midst of being scared and worried....there was calm....quiet....a presence that only God can bring....from the moment I was woken up by the knock at the door and that has remained with me even now. 

The following moments...hours...days...weeks and now one month from Evan's passing have been a blur. So much love has been poured out on us from all over the planet. We have gotten over 300+ cards, along with emails, Facebook messages, meals, flowers...lots of flowers, more meals, hugs, words of encouragement and the list is endless as to the gifts and love that have poured our way. Really to say thank you seems so small for what has been given to us. I don't want to give this illusion that everyday has been rainbows and unicorns. It is not...I have lived in this community for over 27 years and there isn't one place that doesn't remind me of Evan....I cry frequently in public and in private.....but in that I also feel that presence that came to me that first moment when the knocking came at the front door. I hope in weeks to come to chat more about this journey as I've tried to express some of the things I believe the Lord has placed on my heart regarding loss, relationships, investing in people, and walking out our faith in the midst of great loss and tragedy. I hope to take what God shows me through the every day and move it out so that we can pondering together the beauty that surrounds us. I also want to take some of my son's writings and pair them with my photography to create a beautiful blending of two creatives using what has be placed in us to shine a light and send a smile.

To all of you who have walked with us....We love you. You're our tribe and you will never know what a blessing you have been to us. To those of you who know Evan I ask you to not forget. You carry a small piece of him with you and whether he would admit it or not that piece...that love...was Jesus. Love Well...Care often....Don't be afraid to be a zookeeper.