i choked. the emotion of this moment hit me so hard that i choked, caught my breath and tried to focus my camera again for the next shot. you may not see what i see in this picture and it could easily be a photo that gets overlooked, except that i know these two people. i know their story. i know how far they have come and how much they have invested. i know how they held each other up and never let the other one fall. how they surfed and prayed and loved and lost and laughed. this is sam embracing justin, his best friend, after giving a toast at his wedding last weekend. it was the kind of hug ‘with the extra squeeze.’ the hug that if it had words would say, “you mean more to me than you could ever know.” and that’s what justin has been to my husband… the friend that saw him, heard him and loved him. and being heard, really heard, is a gift.
and when she dropped by last week and handed me a little bag, filled with tissue, i was given the gift of being heard, really heard. kelley. she is the kind of friend that takes you in, into her heart. kelley made me a mini-quilt inspired from my post on thrive. this gift now sits under my keyboard and when i get discouraged, i see the little octopus growing and the word “thrive” and i remember that i am loved. she, among many others (mackenzie, rissa, irene, my sisters, mom, christina, grandma, and others) are my faithful blog followers who leave me comments. comments that encourage me and remind me that what i am doing with my life is meaningful, beautiful and makes a difference in their lives. every comment i get feels like a hug ‘with the extra squeeze.’ so thanks. thank you justin: for being a 3rd brother to sam. kelley: for the thriving octopus. and you: for reading and following my photography and hearing my life.
it is a gift. thank you.
and samuel: please learn to hear me when i tell you “don’t climb into the dishwasher” for the millionth time.