Picture Memories

“Mem’ries, Light the corners of my mind, Misty water-colored memories Of the way we were. Scattered pictures, Of the smiles we left behind, Smiles we gave to one another For the way we were” – Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were

April 8 will be the eight year anniversary of the death of our teen son. In the aftermath of that tragedy, our family participated in a local grief group. We were given the assignment to take photos of things which reminded us of our loved one. Rather than merely gathering pictures, I chose to use Photo Shop to make collages of images, drawings, and quotes. As we remember our son this week, it feels like an appropriate time to share these little works of art to give you a glimpse of who he was.

This Easter photo was taken just a week before James died. We both enjoyed dressing up for special occasions. Easter Finery_Mom and Son“Joyous and Free! (he’s dancing for Jesus now)” – James was a competitive figure skater. He was also learning how to ride a horse named Goldie. A few weeks after he died, Goldie birthed a beautiful foal, who was soon running wild and free like James. Ice Dance_Joyous and FreeThis necklace will always remind me of colorful James. The background photo commemorated an ongoing joke: that James had an identical twin, John, who was a surfer dude living in Honolulu, Alaska. Colorful Heart_Joking JamesFrom a very young age James lived up to his red hair and freckled nose: he was always full of mischief. Prankster and MischiefWe had a close relationship…and it seemed like James was always bumping me or leaning on me physically. Leaning_on each other_and on GodJames had an artist’s eye…he loved photography and held strong opinions about which papers and colors I should use when making scrapbook pages. He would joke that he was my design consultant. Artist's Eye_Design ConsultantThere were so many facets to James: skater, writer, photographer, prankster, pesky little brother, Jesus-lover, and friend. He had started writing a fantasy novel before he died. Facets_the Crystal_Fantasy NovelA poem written about James: “Burning Bright” Comforts, Brightens Days, Enlightens Others, Fiery, Draws Others, Hot Tempered… Burning BrightThe most common memory we hear from others is that James had a smile that stayed with you and brightened the rest of your day…like a Cheshire Cat! Always Smiling_Cheshire CatJames…you are “Unforgettable in Every Way…and Forever More, That’s How You’ll Stay…” Unforgettable_lyricsAnd today? We will miss him forever. But we take pleasure in imagining him joyfully skating calculus equations on the ice of the universe… Skating Calculus_Ice of the Universe

5 thoughts on “Picture Memories

  1. This is BEAUTIFUL!! I just can’t imagine the pain Jill. Bless you for being so strong and finding joy when I imagine there would be none. I am grateful to call you friend!!! What an AMAZING spirit sweet James is!!!

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