Tag Archive | Loss

The Fighter….

DSC_2766That is what he was. Through and through.  Even when everyone had given up all hope, he kept on fighting.  Even when he was told he no longer qualified for treatments because they would not work, he kept on fighting.  He forced others to fight. Or at least encouraged them.  These are the things that were said during his service yesterday.  I could say that it is just what people say in those kinds of moments, but the truth is…it is actually the truth.

The picture of my uncle in his sunglasses, he is apparently pushing another man that is in a wheelchair.  They were in a Relay for Life, or something like that.  The man didn’t want to do it, I don’t think .  My uncle was relentless.

My uncle had been going to St. Louis for treatments and had two letters from them stating that there was nothing else they can do. The treatments were no longer working.  He kept fighting anyway and continued to tell everyone that he was fine.

There were not as many people at his memorial service like my other uncle.  I chalk it up to the fact that it was on a Monday.  The soonest that the funeral home could actually get to him.  The service was more like a Sunday morning sermon and not so much like a memorial service.  We sang hymns, the preacher read passages.  The preacher spoke to the life of my uncle, it was not open for anyone else.  My brother-in-law and I found this strange.  I couldn’t help but compare.  There were a ton of people at my Uncle Wayne’s funeral and only two people actually spoke.  My Uncle Mark’s there were many people, all of whom had something to say and not one that was given the opportunity.   Truth is, that is how he would have wanted it…he never did like a fuss.

I cannot say that I would have spoken.  I hate speaking to groups of people.  But I can write and this is what I would like to say:  He was a good man.  Especially, the older he got.  He made it a point to be around the family. He use to bring us animals and we weren’t suppose to tell dad.  He knew how important my first truck was to me. He knew how much I loved country music and would often make me CDs.  Even when he was feeling his worst, if he knew you were in town-he’d make it a point to see you…if even more a minute.  He could be tough, he could be strict.  He was a dad, I believe that is what most of them do. He was strong in his faith.  He loved to sing in the choir. I never knew that side, but the way he talked about it…it fulfilled something that was missing.  And he fought to the end.  He was the strongest man I knew.  He deserves that title, because it was a 9.5-10 year battle.

Even as I stood there by his graveside talking to cousins that I had not seen in months if not longer.  Having the same conversation with him that i had with my other set of cousins, I realized they were just words.  We can say that we will get together. That we won’t wait until the next funeral….the odds are, we won’t.  Not anytime soon.  It won’t be intentional, we really do have good intentions but life always has other plans.  I work two jobs, they work jobs and/or have kids.  Life is busy.  Life too often dictates and I know that I said that less than two months ago too.

I pondered why I could not cry more over Uncle Mark’s death, but I think that I’m numb and tired.  I also knew the day was coming and that he had to be tired.  In a way, we all lived with it.  He fought it, but we were always on a cliff waiting and wondering.  I know that probably makes me sound like a horrible person, but the pain and the stress that I saw my grandpa fight with. My dad. Just hearing about it and being reminded on a constant basis that his time was limited.  I am thankful that he lived as long as he did, most would have given up long-long ago.  I am glad that we had each passing day that he was still here, but I’m also glad that he no longer has to fight.  That he can finally be at rest.  That we can finally rest and start the healing so we can continue on.

I was reluctant to write those words, and hope that you do not judge me.  They are honest words and I’m nothing if I’m not honest.  I loved my uncle.  I did and I miss him dearly.  I don’t know what is next for our family. My grandmother is fading and my grandpa, the pain and stress-he, too, is exhausted.  I don’t know how we continue on, but I know that we have too.

I’ve also lost my train of thought.  I was hoping that if I wrote everything out that I would have some philosophical, deep moment with some serious words of wisdom.  They’d be forced.  This is my second loss in less than two months and right now it just doesn’t make sense. It just makes it painfully aware of how quickly the time is slipping away.  I know that we need to live each moment and take it day by day. We need to appreciate the little things…we all know those things.  What I don’t know…well that list is long. What I need is a moment to breathe…preferably one where it doesn’t hurt to do so.

If you took the time to read this, I thank you. It is appreciated.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography


Never Easy

DSC_0900Just after 10pm, the news that was expected for years finally came.  It has been over a decade since the initial diagnosis.  Seems like forever, doesn’t it?  Every year, there was news…rarely ever good news.  The cancer was here and now it is there.  The chemo is not working. The radiation is not working.  Then there was hope and then it was dashed.  A roller coaster for well over 10 years. So this day should not have been any surprise. But then there was a blood clot.   DSC_09152A blood cot. How is that for an ironic twist?  The man lived with cancer for over 10 years only to be taken to his bed by a blood clot.  One that they could not get to because of the cancer.  Yeah…Was it the blood clot?  Was it the cancer? Truth is, it was probably both.  Now it does not matter, my uncle is gone.  DSC_0914Even though I knew this day was coming, it doesn’t make it any easier.  And for the first time, I really don’t know what I should say.  What do you say to your dad whom just lost his brother?  Your grandpa who is watching is wife fade away and now has to bury his son?  Parents aren’t supposed to bury children, right?  So what do you say?  I honestly do not know.

Tears are light, not because I do not care. I do care. I am upset, but I knew the day was coming.  I also know this is the second uncle in just under two months that I have to say goodbye to. Not to mention all the other BS that life keeps throwing at me.  I’m tired.  I’m numb and I’m at a loss for all the things that I’m supposed to say.  For how I am supposed to be reacting.  Who, or what, determines that anyway?DSC_0894The only thing that I know…one of the strongest men I know has finally closed his eyes for the last time.  He no longer has to deal with the pain that came with his daily routine.  He can rest.  So go rest high on that mountain, Uncle Mark.  You have fought long and hard.  You lived long past what they said you would.  You have earned the right to rest, but thank you for fighting as hard as you did and for as long as you did.  You are loved. You are missed, but rest.  It is time.

Montana Rose Photography

Run Free, Beautiful Girl….

DSC_78802She may not have been mine, but I adored this girl.  Today, she was put to rest due to colic.  I was not there, it is my day off.  I was texted and informed. I didn’t really know what to say.  My emotions are a little drained and I’m a little over bad news.  Here’s to 2018 so far.  I refuse to let this set the tone for the year.

I’m glad that I have these photos and the others that just didn’t seem to fit what I wanted to convey right now.  Her beauty. Her orneryness.  I always pictured her as one of those horses running through the mist of a canyon valley with a Native American princess upon her back. Both of them running free and being wild as can be.  I know that is what she’s doing now.   Run free, beautiful girl. Run free.
Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography


DSC_6607Yesterday, I posted about being lost.  I didn’t really expect that to be followed up by a life lost.  A couple actually (That I know of.  There are a lot of people, so I’m sure there were more).  I can only post of the ones that I know. That hit me.  And that was two.  One much more than the other.  DSC_6609I have been holding on to these pictures for about a month now.  This is actually only a portion of them.  And truth is, I didn’t love them and I wasn’t sure that they worthy of sharing.  I’m still not sure that they are.  I struggled as I thought…I’ll get better pictures next concert.  Sadly…devastatingly…there will not be another concert. No.  One half of this amazing duo lost his life yesterday afternoon.  My heart is broken.  DSC_6619Troy Gentry.  The one without the hat.  He left this world at the age of 50 due to a helicopter crash.  So, these were the last of the pictures for me and probably some of the last recent ones that are circulating of him.

I’m still having a hard time believing it.  I saw him just barely less than a month ago.  Goofy off, entertaining.  Everything that I’ve ever seen him do several times before and the things that he was most famous for.  This man, this duo they have been in my top five since they came out.

I never thought that I’d be one of those fans that was absolutely heartbroken over a loss like this.   Truth is, I’m not one of those “fans” that gets all up in arms over a celebrity.  They’re human.  It also seems strange to me to mourns someone who I’ve never actually met.  Still, upon reading the words from the official MG facebook page, tears filled my eyes and I could feel my heart breaking.  This has happened only once before and it is still strange to me how we can often ache over the loss of someone we do not actually know.  Maybe it is the loss of my own life o that yet another iconic fixture in my life gone.  Maybe it is the image of the men that I believe these two to be.  The kind of people who you just know brighten the world a bit. That was a little sappy, but just the same.  Who knows the answers?  The mind, the heart…they are strange little things.  DSC_6623My heart aches mainly for his friends and family. I mourn the loss of music that will now never be made. The concerts that will never happen.  Some of it is selfish, some of it is not.  I cannot even begin to imagine what his family is going through and I’d do anything for them to not have to feel this pain.  There is already so much going on in the world, this was just one more thing to make it a little bit sadder.  At least for some of us.  DSC_6626I’m not really sure what to say. What would do it justice.  My thoughts are a bit scrambled and probably not coming out the way that I intended.  I just hope that my pictures do.  The ones that I’ve chosen to post today.  I hope that they show some sense of care and honor.  I also repeat these words as his voice rings in my head singing the very ones:

‘So now I’m slowing it down and I’m looking around
And I’m lovin’ this town and I’m doing alright
Ain’t worried ’bout nothing except the man I wanna be
I’m thinking it’s time to be livin’ the rhyme
When I’m singing a song about nothing but right
And it’d sure be nice if you would roll with me

Who knows what’s up ahead
I think I’d rather not know instead’

I can picture him living these words and maybe it is best that we don’t know what is up ahead.  I think so many of us would do a lot less living if we did.  So, here’s to living each day a little bit more, because we truly do not know when it will end.  So, here’s to you, Mr. Troy Gentry.  May you rest in peace, may your family find as much peace as possible in this situation, and may you keep rolling on.  I never got the chance to actually meet you, but I’m pretty sure that you are every bit the man who I envisioned you to be off stage.  Sing high and go rest on that mountain.
DSC_6627bwAs for tomorrow:  Lord, I hope this day is good.  It will be a little sadder, but I hope that it can be good for some of us.

For those that picked up on it, the other loss was one Mr. Don Williams.  The first song I heard was “Lord, I hope this day is good.”  And that song often plays in my head.  It could be that it rings so very true for me most days anymore.

‘Lord, I hope this day is good
I’m feelin’ empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful Lord, I know I should
But Lord, I hope this day is good

Lord, have you forgotten me
I’ve been prayin’ to you faithfully
I’m not sayin’ I’m a righteous man
But Lord, I hope you understand’

The CD I own has been played many of times.  It will be rotated between Montgomery Gentry CDs for a while.  It just seems right.  So, Mr. Williams, may you also sing high and rest upon that mountain.  I can see you and Mr. Gentry playing guitar and singing a duet.  I smile, because I can only imagine how that would be and I’d definitely pay to see it.

I have rambled enough for now.  Rest in peace, Mr. Williams and Mr. Gentry.  Thank you for the songs and the memories.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography