(Trying for a little "first year birthday shoot with Gabe while good weather held. He was unimpressed. Eventually, we got some good ones....I'll post those next time.
These are just mama and Gabe.)
A little story from life to go along with the photos. Totally unrelated, except to the concept of a "good life, rather, life well-lived."
One day last year Jeff was re-entering the hospital. I don't know which time, or which procedure. They all blur together. I do remember what we were saying to each other.
I was very fearful. Afraid that he would go in, and under a knife, and not come back out.
I knew there were no guarantees, that he could promise me nothing. It was completely out of his hands. We were people used to shaping our futures, or at least doing the best we could. This place where illness had brought us - with no control over any area of life (health, finances, time) - was frightening.
I choked back tears, trying to be logical. I'd done plenty of crying already. How does that help a guy approaching surgery?
I said, "But what if you don't make it? What then?"
He was quiet for a moment.
He swallowed, then said, "Well...then, we've had a good life."
I looked into the most familiar eyes in my world, got quiet too, and nodded my agreement around the lump in my throat.
I saw his peace, and realized the truth in what he said.
(Of course, I still made him promise to fight this illness with everything that was in him.)
I said everything that I felt I needed to say to him at that time, I thanked him for all of the years and all of our children and for loving me and them so well.
His calm acceptance and summation of our years brought me a measure of peace as well;
and he lent me his courage.
He was right.
We've had a good life.