Waterlilies Serenity-1

Back in November, I found out devastating news. I got a call that my brother Jerry was entering hospice care. I was all too aware of what this meant, and I knew this was not the kind of news a sister wanted to get about her brother. I boarded a plane and headed to Seattle to see him. I was so relieved to make it there on time, and to realize he knew I was there. In some minute way, perhaps I brought him a small measure of comfort.

Space Needle through Chihuly

Space Needle through Chihuly

While in Seattle, I remembered that there was a Dale Chihuly exhibit that had recently opened. I grabbed my camera, hid it in my giant purse, and planned to sneak a few photos. When I arrived there, I knew I wanted to take in this beauty, savor it, and not be hurriedly taking a snapshot with the wrong exposure or aperture. And truth be told, I really never have been one to buck authority. So I asked permission. Chihuly boat-1

“Sure,” the guard promised. “And you can even use flash.” He thought my ability to use flash would be a gift. But I knew I had no intention of using flash. I wanted to capture Chihuly’s exquisite works, set like gems in their equivalent of velvet jewelry boxes – simple black box rooms- with just the light provided. Oh, my, what incredible talent this artist possesses. Frequently, after turning a corner, I would gasp at the beauty. Chihuly red glass-1Making these photos provided a happiness I didn’t know I could feel at this sad time. A moment of relief and renewal.


Chihuly purple hall-1

Chihuly glass house-1

Fast forward to May. More devastating news. This time it was my only surviving brother, John. His news was unbelievable to me. And this time it was so quick I didn’t even have the time to grasp the reality of another loss. June 1st, I was up early for a rare morning shoot at McKee Garden. It was water lily time, when 70% of the ponds’ surfaces are covered in all forms of water lilies. The beauty of some of these flowers was breathtaking. I shot this night blooming species with John in mind.

Waterlilies for John-1


When I took these photos, I didn’t realize I was about to lose my brother. I only knew he was terribly ill, and I was, once again, lost in beauty at a time of sorrow.

Waterlilies Serenity-1

It has occurred to me that I have been blessed with a passion that keeps me not only learning, but also motivated to capture loveliness. It eases stress and renews me. It gives me happiness at times of sorrow. Waterlilies Stand alone-1

I thank God for any talent I might possess. I believe that God gave me some special beauty to discover and photograph both times.  Waterlilies pink-1


And while nothing can take away the pain of losing two of my three brothers in such a short time, this photographic journey eased those dark days. When I look at these photographs, I feel joy.  Waterlilies multiple-1


I think of my brothers and the unbreakable bond siblings share.  And I hope that in the future, these photographs might bring some relief to others going through something difficult or unbearable.  Waterlilies purple-1

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