A picture is worth...


...1000 words.

Or, so they say. Whoever 'they' is.

But, I think a picture is worth so much more than that. 
A picture doesn't just convey an endless amount of words, but it can also capture an emotion that no words can describe. 
It can preserve a memory that might otherwise have been forgotten. 
It can make you laugh or cry just at the very sight of it. 
And for us here, a picture is priceless - something that can't be duplicated or repeated. 
It's tangible proof of the intangible. 

This ironic thing happened when Jeremy died. I stopped taking pictures. Just when I lost everything most precious and was seeking whatever I could find in the few pictures I took....and always looking for more - for something I missed - I couldn't seem to take pictures for myself. 
For one, I looked like hell and didn't want to be in any picture.
I didn't want to fake a smile. 
I didn't want to pretend. 
But it was also just too painful. 
It hurt to capture my beautiful children's faces without their daddy there to ever see it. 
It hurt to take pictures of friends continuing to live life seemingly unaffected by the world flipping upside down. 
It hurt to see life moving forward and I wanted no part in it. 

Eventually, my yearning to capture life's moments came back to me. After my brother died, I searched for as many pictures as I could find and felt so much heartache that I didn't have more of us together. The day of his funeral, after our family got together for the evening, I decided to take pictures with the people I loved. Now, whenever we all get together, I quickly stand next to each of them and snap a picture. I started to hurt when I had no pictures of my friends anymore and they were all taking pictures together without me. So now I try to make sure I take the pictures that I don't want to forget. I'm now the mom who is constantly stopping my kids for pictures....it's gotten to the point now where I hear "Mom, take a picture of me doing this!" on a regular basis. And I'm pretty sure at this point, I have more pictures of Steve and I together over the last 20 months together than I have of mine and Jer's 8 years together. Because I've learned the hard way how precious those can be.

I find myself often looking back at pictures... 
My old profile pictures on Facebook. 
The pictures on my iPhoto library. 
My instagram photos.
The pictures tagged on Jeremy's wall. 
It can be painful sometimes, but I am always drawn to recreate those moments in my heart and my mind. 
To remember. 
To somehow capture as many pieces as I can before it's too late.
Because someday, they might be all I have left.

"If you want to know what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph."


An unexpected surprise

My new morning view

We are settling into our new home here in West Virginia. It's a strange experience to live your entire life in one region and then move somewhere completely different in your thirties....but, I feel called here, and our family is loving it so far. And I've got lots to keep me busy!

One day last week, I decided to take a drive around and see the area a little bit more and try to figure out where things were and get acquainted with the place. I pulled up to the mall a few miles away and walked into one of the side entrances. As soon as I walked in, I had suddenly remembered being there before, almost 3 years ago, exactly two weeks after Jeremy had died....I came to lead worship in the area cause he and I were supposed to do it together and I decided to do it in his place and still go. With my sweet friends, we took an evening to walk around the mall and hang out. I was shocked that I even remembered that in the whirlwind of my aftermath and widow brain.

I continued walking through the mall and felt Jeremy's presence very strongly. I couldn't figure out why until I turned the corner into the food court. There, I saw him, sitting at one of the tables with Faith next to him as a baby......and it hit me.

I have been here before. With Jeremy.

My heart nearly leaped as it jumpstarted a memory I didn't even realize I had. What a beautiful surprise it was to remember coming here, 7 years ago, traveling with Jeremy to Ohio Valley University just up the road, and stopping here for lunch at the food court I now stood in. I remembered us driving across the street to pick up a stroller for Faith because we didn't realize how badly we would need one on the trip. That same stroller is sitting in my garage now three miles down the road.

It all came back to me and it was like Jer audibly whispered in my head "I'm here too." One of the hardest parts for me about moving was leaving Jeremy behind. I talked about it a few weeks ago, but still struggled with picking up and moving somewhere Jer would never be a part of. Somewhere I thought I couldn't reach him. I fought tears for a few hours just thinking about how random, ironic, and special it was to know that I had shared a memory in a place I didn't even realize I had been before. Jeremy's presence was found hundreds of miles away from home.

This forgotten memory will now be one of my most cherished moments.


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