North Carolina Beach Reflections – Chicago Family on Vacation Photos

Some of you may know that my father passed away this past August and these past seven/eight months have been a mixed bag of grieving and all that is associated with losing someone you hold dearly to your heart.  When I got news that my father took a turn for the worse my family and I were vacationing on the North Carolina coast – where I consider my second home to be by the sea.  Unfortunately we ended up cutting our trip short by a few days to rush back home.  I flew home, alone, not knowing how long I had to get to my dad’s bedside to say my final goodbye as my family road tripped it home together.  Thankfully all of us were able to make it home in time and I spent a few good and long days (and nights) holding my dad’s hand as he took his last breaths in this life.  Hopefully wherever he is (I like to believe there is a heaven) he is smiling down, able to move his body, no longer riddled with the Parkinson’s that stole his vitality and his life force from us.   I hope he is resting not only in peace but living the afterlife joyfully.

For me it has been particularly difficult to open these images, let alone post about them. While in these images we were romping on the sands of the beach, relatively care free and having fun, I can’t help but be reminded of this very heart wrenching time in my life every time I open the folder that housed these original images.  At the same time I am thankful for having had this experience, not only because death is an inevitable part of life but because it taught me the lesson/opened my eyes to the fact that there are times in your life that are pivotal, when you truly see who your real friends are.  Those friends that drop a note of condolence, those that stop by to pay their respects, those that hold your hand and head as you grieve the loss of the most influential man in your life, those that lend their listening ear, those that hug you so you can sob into their shoulders, those are the people you want on your side and to call friend.  To my true friends who have been there for me, to check in with me, to pay their respects in the most respectful of ways: thank you.  I am forever grateful for your kind words, warm hugs, listening ear.  This is what makes up a good life: good friends, love, respect and concern.  I will never forget those quiet moments where no words were exchanged, nor necessary.

While it was tough to pull these out and edit them before the holidays I did somehow manage to create a holiday card with a few of these images.   I could only bear to work on a few, enough to make up our holiday card and a few personal posts on Facebook.  Anyway that’s the back story of why these images (and my blog in general) are so behind the times.  🙂    Lastly I want to extend a thank you to all my wonderful clients who saw my status on Facebook and on the blog and took time out of their busy lives to drop me a note, a message.  You all have become like my extended family and when the outpouring of love was sent my way I truly felt like my feelings on this fact were spot on – THANK YOU to my extended family of clients and friends.

I hope your day today is as happy and carefree as a day at the beach.

I also need to shout out to my beautiful niece Karen for wielding the camera for us for the family images photographed here.  Love you beautiful girl!

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