Tag Archive | Loss

Holding Together


Sunset, and passing a fence
The idea that all that holds us together
Like the pieces of wood, bowed in the middle of the barricade
Is our softness. Only the resolution
In such kindness
Keeps us from going over the edge, Or down With the sun.

~J. MacLean.  Jun 9, 1981 – Sep 13, 2019~

I have tried to come back to the blog world on many of occasions.  I’ve not had it in me.  Of course it would take this to bring it out.  A death.  A suicide.  A lost soul.  I’m sure there is some psychological reasoning behind it.  I know that there is.  Being lost is part of the reason I’ve been gone.

This soul was not someone I ever knew in person.  We had a long 10 plus year online friendship that started in the world of Myspace over writings and photography.  Mainly writing back then.  It would transfer to Facebook. It would be consistent until we had a disagreement about….suicide.  It seems ironic now.  The callous part of me, the angry part of me screams about the irony of it.  This friend, his stance was that suicide is selfish.  Mine would be that it is not selfish because we do not know what that person is going through.  How lonely and heart broken and lost that person has to be to choose that path.  The irony would be that it became his reality.

I know not the details.  Just what I’ve read and pieced together from his family.  He was walking along a road.  Lonely, lost, deep in sadness, deep in darkness.  He was hit by a commercial truck.  He chose to be hit by the truck.  Chose to end his life.  His pain.  His suffering.  Most will view it has selfish.  I hold true to my truth, which is we don’t know how much pain he was in to make this decision.  How lonely and lost he had to feel.   I’m angry because years early that same man chose to end a friendship with me because of my view and because he felt that I was going through something because I refused to argue with him over it.  We reconnected. He claimed to not remember what it was about.  I chose not to remind him. It no longer mattered anyway.  It was the past.  This was the now.

Even in the now, I knew something was different. I just figured people change.  People go through Facebook phases where they eventually don’t post as much or just leave Facebook all together.  I figured this was him, but somewhere I knew. I SHOULD have known because I have seen it in me.  The cries for help. The desperate attempts to get someone to notice, but because of my own “being lost” I ignored him.  Maybe some of me was still in a place where I knew we weren’t the friend we once were.  I honestly do not know.  What I do know is hindsight is an evil part of life that makes you smack yourself in the head, because it is so obvious now.  It is always so obvious after the fact.

My heart is broken but it is more so over a life that became so lost he felt he had no other choice but to end.  For the fact that my own stubborn pride kept us from reconnecting sooner.  I had thought about it, but I am stubborn as hell.  My anger is not just over the situation but the fact that once again I am in a position where all I have is the regrets of everything that should have been and that sadness is not mine to hold because of the situation.    Anger over the things that I keep saying that I’m going to do but that allow to just go the waste side because of…life.

We all know someone who is suffering in the darkness.  If you see changes in someone, acknowledge them.  If you sense something, investigate.  I hate sayings like, “be the change,”  but the truth is….one call, one gesture, one moment it truly can change everything.

I chose the above picture because J. MacLean actually wrote three pieces to go with three pictures that I had taken.  This picture was one, the poem is the one it goes with.   He submitted them, now I will never know how that turned out for him.  He had planned on more, I suspect that it never came.  I don’t know where you are in your life, but live it and find away to love it.  Know if you are in the darkness, you are not alone even though I know it seems that way.  I always listen to a stranger, so come to me if you need.  Don’t let the darkness swallow you, don’t let it swallow someone you love.  We never get the chance to go back.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~Montana Rose Photography~

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