A moment of joy to remember for a lifetime…
Tonight I caught a moment with my lens which says we are going to be alright somehow in the big picture of life. It took a lot of work from everyone to make Mom’s day nice, but it was worth it.
Moments of joy like this are what we need to pray for, live towards, cherish and be willing to sacrifice for. Moments like this are what we need to thank the Lord for when they come, since they can be few and far between in this imperfect world.
Live not in vain, but in the light of Christ
Two days ago I attended the funeral for a friend’s husband. He passed unexpectedly after a bout with cancer. I heard testimonials from several friends of the deceased. They told the story of a man who lived a life of love for his fellow man. From what his wife told me in the months we’ve worked together, these were no exaggerations. These tales exactly described his character.
This gentleman was a leader. He bore other’s burdens with joy. He called out other men to be leaders in their homes for their wives and children. He was the rock on whom his wife and boys could lean at any time of the day or night for support. From what I heard, and knew from his wife, he was also not a man who allowed blind love of another person to cover up their faults in his eyes. This man called all people to raise themselves up to meet the challenges of life. He carried the same attitude when he looked in the mirror as well. He had confidence in himself, but never a vanity for himself. So when he did not know answers to life’s hard questions, he reached out to a trusted circle of friends and the Lord for guidance.
Good men seek challenges, camaraderie, glory in the Lord, and lay down their life in service. Somehow the best of the good men do all these things with a smile. Obviously this gentlemen was all of these things.
So as we stood at the Canton American Military Cemetery, I looked out at the headstones and thought of what this fallen soldier could teach others in one sentence. It really came down to what all good military men have in common. He lived love not vanity.
Please pray for this family. My friend and her two good sons lost a good husband and father. Now they will need the strength to carry on their own lives, with the direction left by a good man in the example of a life well lived inscribed on their hearts.
PS Just a note about the photo above. In American Military Cemeteries on US Soil we are not legally allowed to photograph the names on the tombstones (per the custodians at the Los Angeles National Cemetery). So in the four minutes I had to take a few photos before a huge thunderstorm…I got a few quality photos…under that specific guidance. Took some adjustments to make sure I stayed in the law, but I think it worked out.
Professor Harold Hill and you have trouble!
Our school put on one of my two favorite musicals this year….Musicman! If there ever was a show I’d want to be the male lead in, it would be this one! The directors did a great job with the kids on this production. Having been in plays in high school, and our class production at West Point for 100th Night, I am ever in awe with how much work everyone puts into making such a fantastic night.
The teachers and cast turned an old stage into a place of magic for this old soul for just a little while.
For right now I can say I have three of my children who performed on stage for the first time tonight. My daughter did her favorite thing…sing and dance. One special music teacher has my big girl singing with confidence for the first time in her life, and it is a blessing from heaven to see her smile when she sings! One teacher let my daughter dance, and taught her to act. Another teacher took my sons…one who did not act and one who is a natural…and brought out something special in each for a night they are taking into next year in the lower school play.
More later…late night is just about done. I just got all the photos ready to push out to parents from both upper and lower school performances. Only a couple hours of work…learning a lot of tricks and techniques building my style and processing plans. It really is my only contribution to the work the teachers and kids put into it. I hope they like the album and can just sit back and enjoy their hard work with these memories I give them tonight.
One great part of recitals are the timelessness of costumes and many dance moves. I often think this is why so many parents return to sports fields or the arts. We can literally put ourselves right there in the center of the action if we simply suspend belief in our current age.
In this photo I simply waited for the girls to assemble for their final pose, and snapped away. With the classic hair and costume it was easy to go black and white to add to the timelessness of the image. I wanted to to make viewers wonder if this was last week, last year or ten years ago.
A great photo is really a timeless. That is what I want to keep learning to do.