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Posts Tagged ‘saying goodbye’

Melissa Babasin Photography

Melissa Babasin Photography

Like a river, life carries me around bends and curves and to inevitable forks of decision. At the six-year anniversary of What About This?, I find myself at one of those forks. Sharing bits of joy with you these past six years has brought me great pleasure, but blogs take on a life of their own. They require attention and constant feeding, which translate into time. It is always difficult to put an end to something one enjoys, but at this point in my life, my hands are blessedly full. Today’s post, the 647th, will be my final one.

How do I go about saying goodbye to What About This? and to all who took the journey with me? Looking back on my days as a blogger, I know I have many people to thank for being my “river guides.” First, I’d like to thank my husband for believing in me when I didn’t dare, for knowing me better than I know myself, and for allowing me to be decidedly and indisputably me. He served as my IT guy, my stalwart editor, and my taste tester. Rousing debates over grammar, syntax, punctuation, and blog-worthy recipes became part of our everyday lives. Second, I would like to thank my family for allowing me to share them with the world. Last, but not least, I would like to thank each and every one of you who visited, commented on, or subscribed to What About This? You kept me company along the way and gave me the encouragement to continue. Every word typed, every minute spent, and every connection made during the life of this blog brought me joy. I sincerely hope it brought you some in return, as you were my inspiration.

I believe the end of one thing gives way to the beginning of something else. What will I do with my time, when I no longer write this blog? Clean my house, for one thing. I’m serious. But there are also photography skills to be honed, ukulele songs to be played, food to be shared, exercises to be performed, hours to be volunteered, and a little granddaughter to be cherished.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. It’s been an honor.

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” Ivy Baker Priest

Now go and spread joy!

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P1090345.JPG Today, I will bid a final goodbye to my Uncle Ed, so I will not be posting a normal Friday’s Fresh Five! Instead, I would like to share a memory of him. Being an engineer, my Uncle Ed was an intelligent and clever man, but it was his big heart and gentle soul that endeared him to so many. In three days, my Uncle Ed would have celebrated his 94th birthday. A remarkable age for a remarkable man. I cherish the fond memories I have of him and of the many childhood days spent visiting with him and his family.

The Dark Room

As a child, the thought of entering a dark and creepy space, filled with unimaginable things, always made my pulse race and my stomach churn. Possessing a wild imagination, unfamiliar dark spaces scared the daylights out of me. Then one day, during one of my summer visits to my Uncle Ed and his family, something happened.

The day was sunny and looking to be a fun one when my cousin Bobbie called out, “Come on! Let’s go down there.” I quickly replied, “No, I don’t want to!” Excitedly, she said, “I want to show you something and it’s down there!” Fearfully, I exclaimed, “I don’t want to see it!” Bobbie persisted and before I knew it, she opened the door and we were leaving the sunny fun day behind.

I followed her down narrow wooden stairs and willed my legs to cooperate, so that I wouldn’t stumble and fall headlong into the dank stale air and the oncoming darkness. My heart beat like a metronome set on high by the time we reached the bottom step. While my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I sensed movement to my right and smelled something very strong and acrid. “What is it Bobbie?” I whispered. “I’ll show you,” she replied calmly. “I’m never going to visit her again!” I thought to myself as she nudged me forward. As she guided me closer to the source of the movement, I noticed an eerie light. What I finally saw not only altered my impression of that particular dark space, but also introduced me to something I would grow to love. Standing yards ahead of me was my Uncle Ed. He was busy moving things from tray to tray. As I stepped closer, he explained to me that he was developing black and white photographs. I stood mesmerized, while watching familiar faces slowly come into being. To a young girl, it looked like magic.

That day was the beginning of my lifelong fascination with photography. And, knowing that Uncle Ed created magic within the confines of that basement, I no longer felt afraid to go down into the “darkroom.” 

Thank you Uncle Ed. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to the magic of photography and for being in my life. I’ll miss you.

 

 

 

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Romeo

Romeo
December 1998 to November 2013

As Romeo forces air into his lungs, his rib cage rattles and his entire body shivers. While I watch him breathe, tears roll down my cheeks. He lifts his head at the sound of my sobs and starts to lick the tears from my face. The irony is that he is soothing me, not knowing that I cry for him. Chondrosarcoma bone cancer invades his nasal cavity and threatens our precious time together.

That was yesterday. Today he is gone. Some people would scoff at my sentimentality and say, “He was just a dog,” but I could never say that about Romeo. Sure, he was a dog, but he was so much more than just a dog to me. Having grown up alongside of my children, he was the personification of their youth. Romeo exists in their school essays, in their high school senior portraits, and in almost every one of our family’s home videos. And as my children grew up and went off on their own, he was never far from their thoughts. During calls to home, they would always ask about their dog Romeo. This reflects how much Romeo was a part of their lives and a part of our family. Romeo was also my muse, often sitting on my lap as I wrote blog posts, and occasionally the inspiration of a post himself. As the house gradually emptied itself of kids, Romeo remained by my side, a comforting and constant companion. Throughout the day, he was my shadow. We worked on projects together, did the laundry together, watched television together, and every night, he nestled next to me as we drifted off to sleep. Last of all, Romeo was my little love. This smart, long-bodied, short-legged, mischievous mutt managed to capture a piece of my heart that will forever be his.

I’m incredibly sad now that he’s gone, but I’m also very grateful for every day that we shared. As my head and my heart deal with my loss, I sit on the garden swing and say the words I would murmur to him during his last few months:

When you are no longer by my side,
I’ll sit on the garden swing
And rock back and forth,
Just like we used to.

I’ll watch the squirrels play
And listen to the birdies sing,
Just like we used to.

I’ll turn my face to the sun and close my eyes
And savor each and every moment,
Just like you used to.

I’ll long to stroke the fur on your back
And tell you how much I love you,
Just like I used to.

 And then I’ll cry a few more tears,
Just because . . .
I really miss you.

(To My Dog Romeo written by Linnell Chang)

Romeo on swing

Romeo Waiting on the Garden Swing

If you’ve ever loved a pet, please share this tribute to my dog Romeo.

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