Today would have been the Bar Mitzvah of my first angel baby, Joey Wes. The fact that this foundation was formed this year is important to me just for that reason. Joey's presence in my life and his spirit in my heart has been one of the reasons that this project ever came into being. I am honored and touched by the fact that the photos of Joey from the Collection are now at his temple waiting for the service that will honor Joey's legacy. His image always causes people to nearly gasp at his beauty, time and again I hear it, "He is such an angel" and personally in many ways he is the angel that put me on this path. I so value my friendship with his mother and I am blessed that the entire Wes family allowed me into their lives with a camera at a time when things were so very precious and time so very short. As you enter the courtyard of my new home and studio, you must walk over three stones that are lighter in color than all the rest of the pavers, these stones were a surprise from my husband and are from the streets of Jeruselum. I wanted them to be part this place to honor Joey and to remind myself that this project is going to take me into new places both physically and emotionally.
This week has been one of many opportunities and it slipped through my fingers as I had imagined myself preparing for Christmas and instead was led to so many things that are the essence of Christmas, but not the trappings of the holiday. So this year will be different from all the others, as my time is taken up with leading this work instead of shopping and decorating and planning.
I had the absolute pleasure and thrill of touring the Ronald McDonald house and meeting with two exceptional women of that organization that are asking if Soulumination and RMH might join forces for a project that would involve photographing families that are housed at this amazing facility. If it works out that we come to proceed with this work, I will be thrilled. Ronald McDonald House filled my heart with such gladness. It was amazing to see that so much thought and care had been built into their new building. I personally am committed to working with them for at least one family and now will take the proposal to my board and to some friends who I will need to accompany me in this project if it is to succeed. Something in my heart tells me that this endeavor will be another one that will bring Soulumination into the hearts of many. I thank both Joyce and Heather of RMH for being such wonderful diplomats.
I am reading a book that is very powerful indeed: "Making Loss Matter" by Rabbi David Wolpe. I thank Lori Sawyer for this gift of wonderful reading and thank her for her thoughtfulness in sending it to me when I truly needed a hand getting myself back to a place where the grief was not too heavy. I quote from a prayer that the writer uses to illustrate what he has learned, the prayer is not his own but that of a man that puts into words something that moved him and I know it will now be a part of my own life:
"Dear God, I know that there will be pain in my life, and sadness, and loss. Please give me the strength to create a life, together with those I love, where loss will not be empty, where pain will not be purposeless. Help me find the faith to make loss matter, Amen."
In love and peace, Lynette